Five skeletons in Chitradurga: Forensic experts suspect death due to sleeping pills

Published - May 16, 2024 08:50 pm IST - Shivamogga

The forensic experts, who conducted detailed analysis of samples collected from the house in Chitradurga, where five skeletons were found in December 2023, have suspected that they died due to ‘complications caused by sleeping drugs’.

Chitradurga Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Kumar Meena told the press on Thursday that the final report by the experts suggested that death could be due to complications caused by nordazepam and oxazepam drugs found in sleeping pills. However, the experts reported, he said, that the exact cause of death could not be determined.

“As many as 71 items were collected as samples from the house for analysis. The analysis of the soft tissues of the skeletons showed the presence of drugs,” the officer said. Besides that, the utensils collected from the kitchen showed traces of cyanide ions. However, the cyanide ions were not found in the soft tissues of the skeletons. “There is no material to suggest that they consumed cyanide,” he said.

No fracture

As many as five skeletons were found in a house on Challakere Road in Chitradurga on December 29. The house had remained locked since 2019. Based on a complaint filed by a relative of the family members residing in the house, the deceased were identified as Jagannath Reddy, his wife Premaleela, their children Krishna Reddy, Narendra Reddy and Triveni.

Mr. Dharmendra Kumar Meena, the Superintendent of Police, said after the incident came to light, the forensic science experts from Davangere and Bengaluru visited the spot and collected samples for analysis. The post-mortem was conducted by Dr. Venu and Dr. Krishna of the Forensic Medicine Department at Basaveshwara Medical College in Chitradurga. The final report from the analysis confirmed that there were no bone fractures.

Feb-March 2019

The police investigation and the opinion of the experts suggested that the death could have occurred somewhere between the last week of February and the first of March in 2019. “Going by the dates when electricity supply was disconnected, LPG was supplied, and when the family members accessed bank accounts, we suspected that they must have died somewhere in February-March of 2019. The forensic medicine experts also reported that the deaths occurred about four-and-half to five years ago,” the Superintendent of Police said.

Regarding the letter found at the house, the Superintendent of Police said that they had not been able to ascertain who wrote the letter. “As we do not have any written material to compare it with the handwriting in the letter, we have not been able to find who wrote it. However, I have asked the officers to probe it further and make some more efforts,” he said.

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