Kottayam: More chilling details of the cold-blooded murder of a young Keralite nurse, Merin Joy, by her estranged husband Philip Mathew (Nevin) in the US have emerged.
Merin, 27, a nurse at the Broward Health Coral Springs, was brutally attacked at the parking lot of the hospital by her 34-year-old husband on Tuesday.
Philip had waited for 45 minutes at the parking lot for Merin to step out after finishing her hospital shift.
Visuals from the fateful day that clearly show the murder have been handed over to the Coral Springs Police by the hospital authorities. Philip had reached the parking lot by 6:45am (local time) on Tuesday. Merin in her car drove out by 7:30am. Philip, however, blocked Merin's car with his vehicle. The images then showed Philip forcefully pulling Merin out of her car.
Merin was assaulted and dragged back into the parking lot. He pushed her down, and stabbed her multiple times.
A hospital staff, who saw the attack, rushed to the spot. But the knife-wielding Philip threatened him. The employee moved away but took photos of Philip's car. These photos were later handed over to the police. This helped the police in identifying the car and the accused Philip.
Visuals also showed that Philip ran his car over Merin.
As she was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, Merin told the cops that Philip Mathew had stabbed her and ran the car over her. This was recorded by the cop in the ambulance, as per the police report.
Merin had filed complaints against Philip in 2018 and 2019, according to the report filed by the police in court.
New house, new job
Merin was making plans for a fresh start when she was murdered. Merin had resigned from her job at Coral Springs and secured a job at the St Joseph's Hospital Group in Tampa. She also found an apartment in Tampa, where some of her relatives lived. This was why she chose to shift to Tampa.
Merin, along with her colleague Minimol from Coral Springs, had gone to Tampa and found the apartment. She had planned to join the new job on August 15.
Merin had completed her last shift at the hospital and stepped out on Tuesday morning, when she was attacked.
Philip believed that he would not be able to see Merin if she moved to Tampa and this probably forced him to commit the heinous crime, according to his friends in the US.
Philip was arrested from a hotel soon after the incident and charged with first-degree murder.
Nora’s trip cancelled due to COVID-19 lockdown
The couple has a two-year-old daughter Nora, who is currently with Merin’s parents at their home at Monippally in Kottayam.
Merin had booked flight tickets to the US for her mother Mercy and daughter Nora for April 30. However, international flights were cancelled amid the COVID-19 lockdown in India. Even then Merin did not cancel the tickets. She was hoping to bring them to the US when the circumstances became favourable, her relatives said.
Merin dearly loved her two-year-old daughter. Even when she was rushed to the hospital after suffering fatal injuries, Merin spoke about her daughter, her kin said.
Prayers for Merin
The mortal remains will be handed over to Merin's kin on Sunday. Arrangements will be made at the Joseph A Scarano Funeral Home in Florida for her friends and colleagues to pay their final respects for Merin from 2pm to 6pm (11:30pm to 3:30am on IST).
The body will be taken to New York on Monday and steps would be initiated to fly the mortal remains to India. Merin's relatives said that there will be a delay of two days after reaching New York. The body is likely to be brought to India by the end of next week.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan spoke with Merin's father Joy over a video call on Friday.
Muraleedharan assured the family that steps will be taken to ensure that the body is flown back in the first flight from New York.
Her family has decided to hold the funeral at the Thiruhrudaya Church at Monippally.
The Indian Nurses Association in south Florida will hold an online prayer meet on Saturday.