K. Pandivel (26) of Kulathupatti was arrested on the charges of murdering a woman and her eight-month-old male child at Batlagundu on Wednesday.

The police said that the accused who had an illegal relationship with his neighbour Vijayalakshmi (27) of Kulathupatti murdered her by immersing her in a plastic barrel filled with water. He also pushed her eight-month-old son Subha Priyan into the water-filled barrel, they added. Earlier, the police suspected that her husband Murugavel (30), a worker in a cycle shop, might have killed them owing to a personal dispute because the police received information from a private hospital that a woman and child were brought dead on Tuesday night.

After preliminary investigation the police found that Pandivel had coerced her while she was alone in her house on Tuesday. In a fit of anger, he strangulated her and threw her into the barrel. On seeing his wife and child floating in the water-filled barrel, Murugavel took them to the hospital where doctors told him that they were dead. A special team arrested the accused.