A domestic help allegedly stabbed a 25-year-old housewife to death in Madikkai village near Neeleswaram town in the district on Sunday. The police have spread the dragnet to trace the youth, Madanan, said to be from West Bengal.

The incident occurred around 8.30 p.m. Jisha was stabbed in the stomach with a sword allegedly by Madanan after he cut off power supply to the house. She was taken to a nearby hospital and from there to District Hospital here and later to Mangalore but she died on the way. Jisha told the police when she was being taken to hospital that she was stabbed by Madanan who fled under the cover of darkness.

The motive behind the crime was not known, the police said. A manhunt has been launched for Madanan. He had been taking care of Kunhi Kannan Nair, ailing father of Jisha's husband Rajendran who was away in the Gulf.

Madanan was planning to leave for his native place to attend a marriage and had reportedly been given cash and other things for the function. He is said to have enjoyed complete freedom in the house. The police have recovered a bag containing Madanan's clothes outside the compound of the house, located close to the Kakat Mahavishnu temple. Rajendran has returned home after hearing about the incident. Jisha's body has been sent to Pariyaram Medical College for the post-mortem examination, the police said.