A woman who allegedly murdered a 67-year-old domestic help in Valmiki Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur and stole her jewellery was arrested on Friday. Police recovered the jewellery from a pawn shop. The suspect had stolen it to repay her debts.

The victim Lakshmi (67) was found dead on September 29 with strangulation marks and an electric cable around her neck in the house of eye doctor Pragadesh Subramanian in Rajagopalan Street. She had been working there as a domestic help for over a decade. Eight sovereigns of jewellery that she was wearing was missing.

Five special teams led by Joint Commissioner (South), K.P. Shanmugarajeswaran and Deputy Commissioner (Adyar) R. Sudhakar conducted enquiries. Two other women working in the house were questioned. One of the two, Vijaya was frequently visited by her niece Amudha (34), a resident of Rajasrinivasan Nagar in Thiruvanmiyur, also a domestic help.

“We found out that Amudha had debts of over Rs. 60,000 and had paid them off a few days after the killing. When questioned, she said her aunt in Puduchery gave her gold and cash. But when a team approached the aunt, she denied Amudha’s claims,” said Deputy Commissioner Sudhakar.

Amudha later confessed to having killed Lakshmi.

On the morning before the killing, persons who had lent money to Amudha came to her house and abused her for not returning the cash. Irked by this, Amudha’s father assaulted her. Therefore, she decided to pay back the entire sum by killing her acquaintance Lakshmi and stealing her jewellery.

Amudha went to the house in the evening when Lakshmi was alone and asked for some water. When the elderly woman went in to fetch water, she hid inside the house.

“Amudha later strangled Lakshmi using an electric cable and stabbed her on the neck with a kitchen knife killing her on the spot. She fled the house with the jewellery,” Mr. Sudhakar added.

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