She was alone at home in Madipakkam

A 79-year-old woman was strangled to death while she was alone at home in Ullagaram in Madipakkam on Friday. Gold jewels she was wearing, including bangles and a chain, weighing around 15 sovereigns, were missing.

Padmasini Rajagopal, a widow, was living in the ground floor flat at Ashwin (1) Apartments on Selvaganapathy Street. On Friday morning, one of three sons visited the house at 10.30 a.m. and handed over food to her before leaving the house. Around 1 p.m., her neighbour noticed the door of the flat open.

Worried, she entered the apartment and noticed Padmasini lying on the floor with her hands and legs tied. The neighbour informed the city police control room, who in turn alerted personnel at Madipakkam police station. A team rushed to the spot along with Julie, a canine of St. Thomas Mount District police's Dog Squad.

It picked up a scent and ran for a few hundred metres and stopped outside a building under construction near Ponni Amman Koil Street. Fingerprint experts reached the scene of crime. A. Saravanan, Deputy Commissioner, St. Thomas Mount, who visited the spot, told reporters that there was no sign of a forced entry, indicating that the assailant might have been known to the victim.

There were no visible injuries on her body, Mr. Saravanan said, adding that three teams have been formed to nab the assailants. Padmasini had five children – three sons living in Madipakkam, Porur and Avadi and two daughters living in Mogappair and Nanmangalam. Her son and other relatives in Madipakkam would take care of her, the police sources said. There are four apartments in the seven-year-old complex and Padmasini had moved into one of the two ground floor flats which her children purchased for her nearly two years ago.

The incident sent shockwaves in Ullagaram and Puzhuthivakkam. K.Sathish, living in a flat opposite Padmisini's apartment, said: “We have never come across such an incident in the area. It is shocking and we are in a state of fear.”

Keywords: Murder for gain

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