Two men were arrested in connection with a murder case here on Sunday. R. Muthukumar alias Mookandi (24) of Udayarkulam charged with murder for gain for killing a 55-year-old woman, Ramalakshmi, in her house at Thattankulam village was arrested. Besides, a six-sovereign chain and a cell phone were recovered.

The woman was murdered on April 1 when she was alone at home. The key accused allegedly murdered her for the gold chain, Superintendent of Police M. Durai said while talking to reporters here.

In a bid to conceal the crime, he set her body on fire after dousing it with engine oil along with clothes in the house to make it appear as a suicide. Nazareth police had filed a case under Sections 450, 302, 380 and 201 of IPC read with 212 and 414 of IPC.

A manhunt was launched after constituting a special team as per the directive of the Superintendent of Police. The accused, who evaded arrest for over a month, was nabbed in the early hours on Sunday while waiting at Udayarkulam bus stop in a suspicious manner.

Investigations revealed that he clandestinely gained entry in to the victim’s house and locked the front door. He pushed the lonely woman down as soon as he noticed her. He gagged her and severed the chain. On seeing a rope in the verandah, he strangulated and dragged her subsequently to the kitchen, where she was set ablaze. K. Muthaiya (65) of Mela Vellamadam, who sheltered and protected the key accused, was also arrested.

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