Twenty days after U.S.-returnee Bhaskara Karanavar was found murdered in his Karanavar’s Villa in Chengannur here, the murderers are still at large.

However, the police, so far, has made the crucial breakthrough of finding that there was indeed an ‘insider’ link to the murder, which was after they arrested Sherin, wife of Binu, the second son of the 65-year-old Karanavar. Sherin, arrested barely three days after Karanavar was found lying dead in his bedroom on the morning of November 8, is suspected of having engaged three men for carrying out the murder, allegedly for her own financial gains.

According to B. Ravindra Prasad, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Chengannur), Sherin had a “very active role” in the murder and the investigation so far has been on the angle that she engaged three men, all three who have been identified by the police and in whose names the police have issued a lookout notice as well, for the murder. The reasons behind the daughter-in-law, also a U.S.-returnee, turning against her father-in-law, are still hazy, though the police believe that her “illicit relationships” had prompted Karanavar to delete her name from his property will. Without her collusion, it would have been near impossible for the murderers to gain entry into the house, police believe.

The three men accused of carrying out the crime - Basith Ali, 25, a native of Kurichi in Kottayam, Nithin alias Unni, 28, a resident of Kalamassery in Kochi and Shanu Rashid, 24, a native of Eloor near Kochi - are suspected to have made away with valuables worth Rs.1.25 lakh, including a laptop, from Karanavar’s bedroom, after they strangulated him to death.

A police team, based on information elicited from Sherin during interrogation, had left for Bangalore on November 12, but so far has been unsuccessful in tracing the trio. According to Mr. Prasad, the Chengannur police are making arrangements to get help from police in neighbouring States including Karnataka and Tamil Nadu since the investigation team is “sure that the trio is out of Kerala”.

The police have requested the public with any details on the absconding trio or the murder to get in touch with them over phone numbers 94979-98992, 94979-96982, 94979-90043 and 94979-87065.