Body burnt and dumped along an isolated road near Sriperumbudur

In a shocking incident, a school boy allegedly murdered an aged woman and robbed her of her gold jewels. The 14-year-old conspired with his aunt and committed the gruesome murder and later disposed the body with the help of his uncle, police sources said on Tuesday.

According to the Superintendent of Police (Kancheepuram) S. Manoharan, the body of an unidentified woman was found along the roadside in Sengadu village abutting Tiruvallur district border early on Monday. But for the face, the body was completely burnt. Preliminary enquiries revealed that one Roger Daniel of Purasavakkam in Chennai had lodged a complaint with the Tiruvallur police that his mother J. Rajam (68) was missing since Sunday evening.

On seeing the photograph/video of the body found in Sengadu, he found some resemblance. Later at the Chengalpet Government Hospital mortuary, Daniel, confirmed that the body was that of his mother. Rajam was a retired nurse settled in Ekadu while her children lived in Chennai. “Daniel informed [us] that his mother was last seen going into a house in the neighbourhood. Our sniffer dog 'Bravo' inspected the scene where the body was found and ran to some distance towards Tiruvallur…this gave us an indication that the murderers might have come from that side,” Mr. Manoharan said.

A special team led by the Sriperumbudur Deputy Superintendent of Police R. Gajendrakumar was formed to investigate the case. The team went to the house where Rajam had last visited in Ekadu and interrogated Saritha (28), her husband Baskar (31) and the boy. “The minor confessed to having murdered Rajam along with Saritha. He invited the old woman to his house on Sunday afternoon on the pretext of giving mangoes. When she went there, he strangled her with a piece of cloth. Soon after, the victim fell unconscious, Saritha dropped the grinder stone on her head. Rajam died on the spot and the accused persons stole her gold chain and studs,” Mr. Gajendrakumar told The Hindu.

Uncle aids in the crime

The two informed Baskar about the murder. When he suggested that the body could be buried in an open space behind the house, the minor told him that stray dogs might dig out the body. Late on Sunday night, Baskar and the boy packed the body in a gunny bag and took it to a remote village road in Sengadu. They set the body on fire and escaped from the scene. “The boy is a class IX student at a Government school in Chennai. His father works as a security guard in a private firm. He had gone to his aunt’s place in Tiruvallur to spend the summer holidays. The motive of the murder was to rob the gold and use it to buy a [game console] worth about Rs. 8,000. Saritha had wanted a part of the booty for personal expenses,” he said.

Police solved the murder case and arrested all the three accused persons within 24 hours. The gold jewels stolen from the victim were recovered intact. Rajam was targeted because she was living alone in the house and was seen wearing jewels most of the time, police sources added.

An erroneous reference to the suspect's school has been removed