Family found dead, son suspected of mass murder
BENGALURU: A six-member family was found dead in their MPM Layout residence in West Bengaluru on Thursday morning. It is suspected that the only son of the family poisoned the others to death before hanging himself from a ceiling fan.
Police said the incident came to light when the domestic help, Kasturi, came to work and found the day’s newspapers lying on the doorstep. Kasturi immediately alerted the tenant staying on the first floor, Chandrashekar.
The duo peeped through one of the windows and found two women lying in the room and not responding to their calls. They raised an alarm and called neighbours, who alerted police.
“We broke open the front door and entered the house and found the six family members dead. Yateesh was found hanging. We are talking to other relatives to find out what the problem was,” DCP (West) Labhu Ram told TOI.
The family head, Gangahanumaiah, 57, a BSNL employee, lay in the drawing room, while his wife Jayalakshmamma, 54, a homemaker, and youngest daughter, Netravathy, 24, a student of Ambedkar Engineering College, were found dead in one bedroom. The elder siblings, Hemalatha, 30, an analyst with HP, and Vimala, 28, assistant engineer, Bescom, were found in another room. Yateesh, 26, was hanging in the drawing room.
According to police, Kasturi was asked not to come to work on Tuesday. On Wednesday, when she came in, Yateesh sent her away and asked her to come the next day.
Neighbours recall seeing Gangahanumaiah and his two daughters going to work, and Netravathy going to college on Tuesday.
Preliminary investigations showed no signs of any struggle. There were also no signs of reacting to the poison, like vomiting.
On February 13, Hemalatha had been engaged to marry a government hospital technician. Police couldn’t confirm or deny if the marriage had been called off. Jayalakshamma was paralytic.
Police said they suspect Yateesh, an engineering dropout who was depressed, may have fed food laced with poison to the others. It is not clear yet whether the family members had entered a suicide pact or Yateesh had committed the crime.
Neighbours said the family moved into their newly-built house two years ago. They stayed on the ground floor and rented out the first-floor apartment.
A neighbour, Kalegowda, said the family was well off and had no financial problems. “There was some problem with Yateesh and the family was upset over it,” he added.
Alok Kumar, additional commissioner of police (West), said, “The type of poison used is yet to be identified. We’ve sent some food items and utensils for examination to find out the poison used.”