The body was spotted near Sendur village under Mailam police limits

Chennai resident Dr. Mallika Ravi, who was reported missing since Thursday, was found dead on the outskirts of Sendur village in Villupuram district, 160 km from the city.

Police at the Mailam police station on Sunday said the body had been found on Friday itself.

But the identity was established on Sunday, after they had flashed the photograph of the deceased woman in newspapers.

The Chennai Police had identified the body as being that of Dr. Mallika as already a ‘woman missing’ case had been filed in the city.

Prime suspects

The 63-year-old medical practitioner, a resident of Eri Scheme at Nolambur, had left her home in her car chauffeured by a regular identified as Karthik. He is also known to Dr. Mallika Ravi’s housemaid Sathya. Both the driver and the maid are missing and are the prime suspects at this point.

Sources in the Villupuram police said the body was found on Friday afternoon in the bushes near Sendur village that comes under the Mailam police station limits.

The victim was suspected to have been killed by strangulation.

Even as the Chennai Police and the Mailam police are tight-lipped about the progress of the case, a senior officer of the Chennai Police said the murder, as per initial investigations, would have been one for gain, but denied she was carrying any huge amount of money. The victim had a small piece of property in Mint, which was under dispute. There is speculation that the driver might have taken her to Thiruporur under the guise of helping her to sell the property and killed her on the way.

While the housemaid, aged around 36, has been identified as a resident of Shastri Nagar at Kilpauk, the investigating authorities do not have any further leads on the driver.

A police officer said both the driver and the housemaid were believed to be absconding, and their cell phones had been switched off. This has caused some challenges in tracking the car too.

Body sent for autopsy

The body of Dr. Mallika was sent for post-mortem at the Villupuram Mundiyambakkam Medical College on Sunday and later handed over to the relatives.

Superintendent of Police of Villupuram district S. Manoharan, said that as a case was registered in Chennai and the body was found near Mailam in the district, it was yet to be determined whether the case ought to be dealt with by either the Chennai Police or the Villupuram police or by both.

The amount of cash and jewellery missing was yet to be ascertained.