The north Chennai resident confessed to the killing; stolen jewellery was recovered from him

A day after the murder of a 70-year-old woman at her residence in Mogappair East on Saturday morning, a 20-year old man was arrested in connection with the case. According to police, Balaji, a driver, who had been working with Parimalam’s family for the past few days, had murdered the woman and stolen her jewellery. Balaji was formerly a resident of Maduravoyal and then moved to north Chennai.

He was a driver on call. “Recently, the family hired him and he used to frequent the house. During this period, he studied the plan of the house and also noted the time during which the victim’s husband Umapathy would be working on the ground floor,” said B. Kalitheerthan, assistant commissioner of police, Thirumangalam.

On Saturday, the door was open and Balaji quietly slipped inside and went to the first floor of the house. “He first attempted to snatch the lady’s chain. When she put up a struggle, he pushed her to the ground and strangulated her. He then stole 15 sovereigns of jewellery including diamonds worth over Rs. 2.5 lakh,” said Mr. Kalitheerthan.

After the incident, he continued with his work as though nothing had happened.

“During the course of the investigation we found that there was no forced entry into the house. So we focussed on people who used to visit the house. We found Balaji’s character suspicious and interrogated him. He confessed to the crime. The jewels have been recovered,” said Mr. Kalitheerthan.

Umapathy (75) is a retired chemical engineer with Sterlite Industries.

He was on the ground floor, working on the desktop computer. He came up around 11.15 a.m. after hearing the noise of a door closing and found his wife dead.

A six-sovereign thali chain, gold bangle, diamond nose stud and a pair of diamond earrings worn by the victim were taken by the killer who also stole a locked suitcase containing vehicle documents, the police said.

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