Kasaragod youth poisoned family for inheritance, life with girlfriend?

Balal youth poisoned family for inheritance, life with girlfriend?
(L) Ann Mary Maria, (R) When Albin was brought to their house in Balal, Kasaragod, on Friday morning for evidence collection.

Vellarikundu, Kasaragod: Albin Benny, 22, who has been arrested for the murder of his sister Anne Mary Maria in Aringal, Balal, in Kasargod, had failed with his first attempt to kill her a few weeks ago, the police said.

Albin killed Anne Mary Maria, 16, by giving her ice cream laced with poison. She died on August 5. Their parents Olikkal Benny and Bessy were also admitted to a hospital after consuming the ice cream.

Albin’s first plan was to kill Anne Mary with rat poison mixed in chicken curry. When that failed, he looked for new ways to kill her. He searched the internet to find out how rat poison can cause death. With this knowledge, he then came up with the idea of mixing the poison in ice cream.

He made the ice cream at home itself to execute his plan. His father Benny and Anne Mary had the ice cream as soon as it was ready. Albin and his mother Bessie had it the next day.

Anne Mary started vomiting and had diarrhoea after having the ice cream, but no one suspected rat poison had been added to it. Meanwhile, father Benny also complained of diarrhoea.

Anne Mary died on August 5 at a nearby hospital and it was said initially that she had died of food poisoning. However, her post mortem showed traces rat poison in her body raising suspicions.

Balal youth poisoned family for inheritance, life with girlfriend?
(Inset) Ann Mary Maria, Albin Benny. Their house in Aringal, Balal, in Kasargod

Meanwhile, Albin complained that he was not feeling well and approached the hospital. But upon examining him, doctors found no traces of poison.

Reserved personality

Albin did not interact much with neighbours. He worked at a bakery in Vellarikundu after completing his Plus Two. He then left Vellarikundu and completed a vocational course. He found a job at a hotel in Kottayam district. He worked there for a long time and returned home during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The police say Albin, who used to confine himself to his home, had several friends outside Vellarikundu. Back at home, Albin spent most of his time glued to his mobile phone. Investigations revealed that he had a girlfriend and with whom he used to chat regularly.

Wanted to live a comfortable life

During interrogation, Albin explained the reasons for killing his sister, but they seemed unbelievable even to the police.

He told them he wanted to kill them to lead a comfortable life the way he wanted with the inheritance. He said his only aim was to live with his girlfriend.

The police found the stories he told them during his 24-hour-long interrogation very strange.

Balal youth poisoned family for inheritance, life with girlfriend?
Albin and other relatives during Ann Mary's funeral held at the St Anthony's Church in Balal.

Albin said he got to know the girl through Instagram. He told them that he was in love with the girl, who was from another district, and that he intended to marry her. The two have never met in person and they only interacted through video calls. Albin said he decided to eliminate his family members fearing that they would not approve of the marriage.

But the girl walked out of the relationship and Albin tried to get her back, the police said. Also, his sister Anne Mary saw him watching pornographic videos on his mobile and he feared she would tell her father about it. The police said that he once tried to misbehave with Anne Mary.

He was also annoyed because his father didn’t like his friendship with people from outside Vellarikundu.

Ice cream kept in two containers

Albin prepared the ice cream and kept it in the fridge in two containers – one of them laced with rat poison.

His father and sister ate the poisoned ice cream the day it was made, while Albin ate the ice cream from the other container the next day.

But after she ate the ice cream, Anne Mary mixed the leftover poisoned ice cream with that in the other container. According to the police, Albin’s mother also fell sick after she ate this mixed ice cream.

An investigation team led by Kanhangad DySP MP Vinod Kumar, Vellarikundu Circle Inspector Premsadan and SI Sreedas Puthur arrested Albin on Thursday evening.

Village in shock

Albin’s cruelty has left the village of Aringal in shock. When Anne Mary, a class 10 student at St Jude's Higher Secondary School in Vellarikundu, died after consuming the ice cream, neighbours and locals thought it was a case of food poisoning.

They were, however, stunned when the police found that it was a case of murder.

Albin’s family had told the villagers that he worked as a mechanic in Tamil Nadu.

No emotions during funeral

Albin did not express any emotion during the funeral of sister Anne Mary. He attended the ceremony with his mother at St Anthony's Church in Balal. His father could not attend the ceremony as he was still in hospital.

Albin had accompanied his father when he took Anne Mary to the Vellarikundu Cooperative Hospital to see a doctor after she fell ill on eating the ice cream.

The police had been watching Albin since the day of his sister's funeral. He did not speak to anyone who had visited the home after the death.

As his parents were in hospital after eating the poisoned ice cream, the police advised him not to stay alone in the house. As per their instructions, he was shifted to a relative's house in Kannur district, where he felt he was safe.

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