Kollam: Forensic experts claim that Devananda had fallen into the river at a spot away from where her body was found. This conclusion could prove to be a likely breakthrough in the probe over her death after apparently drowning in the Ithikkara river near her home last week.
Police have ramped up investigation efforts, and statements of the girl's family will now be retaken. The forensic report, which will be available in two days, will shed more light into the tragedy, officials said.
A team of the Department of Fire and Rescue Services, accompanied by the forensic team, had collected samples of mud and water from different areas of the river on Friday. These samples were used to determine the origin of the mud inside Devananda's body.
The body of the six-year-old was found, a day after she went missing, in the Ithikkara river near her home on February 28. The post-mortem report had stated the cause of death as drowning. Police inquest too had revealed that there were no signs of struggle or bruises on her body. The child was wearing the same clothes at the time of disappearance.
Diving experts had retrieved her body from the riverbank, 500-600 metres away from her house. Police suspect that the girl would have tumbled into the river while trying to cross a makeshift bridge to reach the riverside, which is around 500 metres from the house. However, they are clueless as to why the girl walked alone. It was earlier suspected that the child might have headed to a temple she visited frequently.
But Devananda's mother Dhanya had given a statement that her daughter would never walk alone to the riverside. A police sniffer dog had also run up to a deserted house in the neighbourhood in the early stages of the investigation, raising suspicions.
The Police commenced an intensive probe looking into multiple aspects after her parents and relatives raised doubts over the death. A special investigation team led by Chathannoor ACP is probing the incident. The officials said they will get a clear picture about the incident only after receiving the forensic reports.
Devananda, the eldest daughter of Kudavattoor natives C Pradeep and Dhanya, went missing from her home in Kottarakkara taluk while her mother was washing clothes around 10:30am on February 27.
Devananda, also known as Ponnu, was a Class-1 student at the Saraswathi Vidya Nikethan School at Vakkanadu, Kollam.