The bodies of two students, who were missing since Thursday evening, were retrieved from the waters of Manimala River at Moorikkayam near Mundkkayam, on Friday morning. The deceased have been identified as Shins (alias Appu-15) son of O C Mathew of Orampallil House, Koovappally and Abhijith (14) son of Sebastian of Chemmarappallil House, also at Koovappally.

According to police, the local people had seen the shirts, pairs of shoes and a bike on the riverside near Moorikkayam at Mannaanthala within Vellanaadi estate. Soon it came to light that three students were travelling on a bike in the area on Thursday afternoon. The bike and shirts were found when the local people searched for the students on Thursday evening.

However, the search had to be called off by 10:30 in the night on account of lack of visibility and the heavy downpour. The bodies were retrieved soon after the search resumed on Friday morning. The body of Shins was retrieved from near the accident spot at Moorikkayam by 7:30 am while Abhijith’s body was found half an hour later.

According to police, the children, students of Class VIII at St Joseph’s High School, Koovappally, now on vacation, had been travelling on a bike along with their friend Aneesh since morning in an attempt to learn bike riding. Aneesh had left them early while the victims stayed on to take bath in the river. Search for the two began when the children failed to return by evening.

The bodies, which were brought to Kottayam Government Medical College for postmortem, were handed over to the members of the family by noon.

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