In what is suspected to be murder for gain, a well-known woman psychologist was found dead in her seventh-floor flat in an apartment complex on Dr. Cherian Crescent Road, Egmore, on Friday night.
A laptop and a few other items are missing from the flat. Preliminary post-mortem report has revealed signs of strangulation on her body.
According to the police, Emma Gonsalvez (82) was found dead in her bedroom around 11 p.m. on Friday by Birdie Fernandez, a relative, and a domestic help in the building, after the psychologist failed to respond to phone calls.
“They managed to find a spare key and opened the flat to find the doctor lying dead in bed. Birdie alerted a few relatives who arrived soon and started preparing for the last rites. The police were informed of the doctor’s death only around 8 a.m. on Saturday,” said an officer from Egmore police station.
Following a preliminary enquiry, the body was shifted to Government Royapettah Hospital by noon for post-mortem. The psychologist was last seen around 6 p.m. on Friday by some other residents.
A CCTV camera on the sixth floor of the apartment complex had recorded an unidentified man walking past, on Friday night. Investigations are on to ascertain the identity of the person, said the police.
Dr. Gonsalvez hailed from Kollam in Kerala and had settled in Chennai many years ago. She stayed alone in her flat, from where she ran EMMAUS, a centre for counselling and training programmes. She had a few cats at home, recalled some residents from the complex.
The Egmore police have registered a case of murder and further probe is under way.Doctor missing
In another case reported at the Nolambur police station, a 63-year-old woman medical practitioner is missing after she went to Tiruporur on Thursday morning for a property deal.
Mallika Ravi, a resident of Eri Scheme in Mogappair, had left home in her car driven by a person hired through a ‘call driver’ service, and later contacted her daughter Rohini Priya (26), a software professional, on phone to tell her she would return by evening.
But when Mallika didn’t return home till late in the night and her cellphone remained unreachable, Rohini alerted the Nolambur police.
A special team has been formed to track the doctor.
The possibility of a kidnap hasn’t been ruled out even though no calls for ransom have been received, said the police.