Rijosh was stifled, states autopsy report on farmhouse murder

Farmhouse employee killed by wife, lover likely with poison-laced liquor: Police
Rijosh, his wife Liji and Wasim

Rajkumari: The cops have launched a manhunt for a man and his lover who are likely behind the murder of the latter's husband at a private farmhouse in Kerala's Idukki district.

The police suspect that the victim Rijosh, a native of Shanthanpara in the district, was murdered by his wife Liji and her paramour Wasim a week ago.

The main suspect in the murder of the 31-year-old man had likely employed tactics as shown in a popular movie to cover up his crime.

The body was found buried in a pit near the farmhouse the other day after Rijosh had went missing on October 31.

A movie buff, Waseem's actions were eerily similar to the sequences in the Malayalam film ‘Drishyam’ wherein the cops are misled by the hero by showing a pit with a calf's carcass instead of the exact spot where a teen was buried after being murdered.

Farmhouse employee killed by wife, lover likely with poison-laced liquor: Police
Workers digging up Rijosh's body from the private farmhouse in Kerala's Idukki district

Waseem told the operator of a soil excavator that a calf had died at the farm and that he had buried the carcass. He told the operator that if the area was not secured properly stray dogs might pull out the carcass. The unsuspecting operator then had properly covered the pit area on November 2 and Waseem paid him for the task done.

Based on the statements of the excavator operator, the soil in the region was removed and the body was located. Udumbanchola tehsildar Niju Kurian was present when the body was dug out.

The murder and the attempted cover-up have sent shock waves across the region.

Rijosh and Liji have three childrem - Joel, 10, Joefitt, 8, and Joan, 2. The accused Liji and Wasim had fled with the two-year-old. They are yet to be nabbed.

Rijosh and Liji had started working at the Mashroom Hut, farmhouse, a year ago. Rijosh looked after the animals, while Liji worked on the various other jobs at the farm. Wasim, a native of Irinjalakuda in Thrissur, had come to farm as a manager four years ago. The farm belonged to an Irinjalakuda native.

It is suspected that the duo planned the murder after Rijosh came to know of their affair.

Rijosh and Liji too had a love marriage around 12 years ago.

Death after liquor session

Rijosh, who only drank alcohol occasionally, was given money by Wasim, a teetotaller, to buy liquor frequently, neighbours said. Thus, Rijosh became an alcoholic.

The police had earlier suspected that Rijosh was killed by mixing poison in alcohol. Rijosh had consumed alcohol near the farmhouse on the evening of October 31. And his body was found in a 6ft-deep pit near the reservoir, which is at a distance of 100m from the farm. However, the autopsy report has revealed that he was stifled to death.

After the inquest steps, the body was moved to the Kottayam Medical College Hospital.

Jenny gets a pat on the back

It was a canine, Jenny, of the Idukki dog squad that tracked down the body in its very first attempt.

After the police deduced that the body could be hidden at the farm house, Jenny was brought to the crime spot around 10am on Thursday.

Farmhouse employee killed by wife, lover likely with poison-laced liquor: Police
Canine Jenny, of the Idukki dog squad that tracked down the body in its very first attempt

Jenny was first taken to Rijosh's house, which was 1.5 km from the farm house. After sniffing Rijosh's shirt, Jenny went straight to the farmhouse. Then it reached the reservoir and walked around the region of the pit several times. The police then called for the excavator and the soil was removed.

The canine has won the praises of the probe officers for its efforts.

Munnar DySP M Ramesh Kumar, special branch DySP Pious George, Shanthanpara CI R E Pradeep Kumar, Rajakkad CI H L Honey, sub-inspectors P D Anoop Menon, V Vinod Kumar, and Joby George are part of the probe team.