Father of Kerala's best-known missing child Rahul found dead

A R Raju

Alappuzha: Tragedy has yet again struck a home in Alappuzha Town, 17 years after a seven-year-old member went missing, leading to a search that went on to become Kerala's best-known child missing case.

A R Raju, 55, the father of the long-missing boy, Rahul, was found hanging at home on Sunday night. The house, named Rahul Niwas, is located at the Poonthoppu ward of the coastal town.

His demise comes exactly 17 years and 4 days after his then sole child, Rahul, went missing never to be found again.

Rahul was last seen playing cricket on the nearby ground at Manjipuzha on May 18, 2005. A search for him spanned several states with public in Kerala curiously tracking the police investigation for years.

Dailies in Kerala had recalled the case last week with news on how the family coped after Rahul went missing. Photograph of Raju, his wife Mini and daughter Shivani, who was born years after Rahul vanished, accompanied the reports.

The suicide took place when Raju was alone at home. He was reportedly hunting for a job in the last days.

Mini was at her workplace and Shivani, a Class-9 student, was at a relative's house when Raju took the extreme step. Up on return, they found the doors locked.

Raju who was abroad when Rahul went missing returned never to go back. He was soon afflicted with various ailments. 

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