Loneliness and the loss of their children drove an elderly couple to commit suicide by consuming poison at their home in Kodungaiyur on Monday.

The police said S. Durai (70) and his wife D. Manormani (65) had lost their four sons over the past decade. Last year, the couple’s only daughter, who was the eldest among all children, died after a prolonged sickness.

Though the couple had a granddaughter, Sandhya, they lived by themselves in an attempt to be independent.

While Durai was working as a daily wage labourer in a local bakery, his wife was selling peanuts at a Tasmac shop in the neighbourhood to make a living.

Depressed, the couple had got into the habit of consuming alcohol, the police said. “The couple mixed the poison with alcohol and consumed it,” said an investigating officer.

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