Physique of lacking nurse present in sack: Killer needed ‘present for spouse’

CHENNAI: Twelve days after a 19-year-old nurse went missing from her house in Choolaimedu on April 6, the police on Wednesday morning arrested her friend’s husband for her murder and retrieved the woman’s body, which he had dumped in a sack near Koyambedu.

Ajith Kumar, 23, strangled for a 1½ sovereign (12g) gold chain worth Rs 34,000, a silver anklet and a low-cost smartphone, investigators said. They said he planned to sell the loot to buy a birthday gift for his wife , Velvizhi’s colleague and friend.

Velvizhi, who worked as a nurse at an agency providing home healthcare services, last spoke to her father Rajendran on April 6, an investigating officer said. Worried about not hearing from his daughter for more than two days, Rajendran came to Chennai in search of her from their hometown of Virudhachalam in Cuddalore district.

“Velvizhi was not in the accommodation the agency had provided her in Veerapandi Nagar, Choolaimedu, and her friends, including Mahalakshmi, had no idea where she was,” the officer said. “Her father was very anxious.”

Rajendran lodged a police complaint about his missing daughter on April 9.

Led by inspector M , investigators questioned Velvizhi’s friends and acquaintances. Ajith became the main suspect when he attempted to mislead the police.

Body disposed of in garbage bag

The investigating officer said, “Ajith described how Velvizhi would always be on the phone and glibly claimed that she had probably eloped with her boyfriend. He pretended to help his wife Mahalakshmi search for her missing friend.”

Ajith, investigators learned, had arrived in Chennai from Palakkad more than three months ago and found work as a driver at the agency where his wife and Velvizhi worked. The couple lived in the building out of which the agency operated. But Ajith soon quit the job. Around a month prior to the murder, he lied to his wife that he had found another job, at an ophthalmologist’s clinic.

When investigators confronted Ajith with security camera footage from near Velvizhi’s room, showing him visit her on April 6, he admitted to the crime.

“When Mahalakshmi asked Ajith about salary from his new job, he decided to borrow money from Velvizhi,” the officer said. “Ajith went to Velvizhi’s room at 10am on April 6, as she was returning from night duty, and asked her for money. Then he asked her if he could pledge her gold chain for a loan.” Velvizhi berated him and refused to give him the chain, Ajith told the police.

“Ajith strangled Velvizhi with her dupatta,” the officer said. “He said he was angry and frustrated. He stuffed her body into a large garbage bag and put it in a sack. He lied to an autorickshaw driver that he had a lot of garbage to discard, transported the body in his vehicle to Koyambedu and dumped it in a vacant plot.”

Ajith directed investigators to the spot on Wednesday and they retrieved the body. The police are waiting for an autopsy report from and Hospital.

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