Close on the heels of cracking a one-year-old murder case in Peerkankaranai, a special police team will take up a challenging probe into the murder of an elderly couple in Velachery in November 2006. Commissioner of Police J.K. Tripathy has handed over the double murder investigation to the Homicide Special Investigation Team of the Central Crime Branch. The bodies of P.A. Jacob (65) and Moni Jacob (56) were found in a highly decomposed state in their Velachery house on November 20, 2006.

Initially investigated by the Guindy police, the case was taken up for probe by various special teams in the last five years but none could get a breakthrough. According to police sources, the murders came to light a couple of days after the car belonging to the Jacobs was found abandoned at Padappai. When a police constable went to the couple's house on Indira Street, Sankaran Avenue, Velachery, to enquire about the vehicle, he found the door locked.

Upon inquiring, neighbours complained of a foul smell, as well as the smell of leaking gas emanating from the house. Police broke open the door and found the highly decomposed bodies of the couple. Gold jewellery and cash amounting to more than Rs. 20,000, kept in the kitchen, was found untouched.

“The bodies were found in one of the bedrooms on the ground floor with their faces, hands and legs tied bound with pieces of cloth. The man's body was lying near the bed while his wife's was near the bathroom door which had a broken latch leading to suspicion of a struggle,” recalled an investigating officer who initially probed the deaths.

An LPG cylinder was placed next to the bodies and another was left open in the kitchen causing the gas to leak. The electrical wiring to the door bell and a tube light was altered in such a way that when switched on, the cylinder would burst. However, the fuse had been removed and the main door locked. The culprits probably left in the couple's car which was later found abandoned, the officer said.

Many persons including the domestic help, a vegetable seller near the house and relatives and friends of the couple were questioned. Experts from a leading oil company were called to the crime scene to assess the usage of LPG cylinders. A case in Kancheepuram with a similar modus operandi was also referred to. But the case remained largely unsolved.

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