CCTV footage from Pattanamthitta in Kerala state gave police the first clues in the “human sacrifice” case. The video belongs to Padma, one of two victims of a horrific crime that has rocked the nation. The footage shows her climbing into a white Scorpio and later crossing a street. She was accompanied by Mohammad Shafi, who police said was behind the murder. The location of Padma’s phone led the police to Shafi, who enlisted massage therapist Bhagaval Singh and his wife Laila to help him and promised them wealth after the ritual killing.
Police said the video was from September 26, the day Padma disappeared. CCTV tracking from roadside cameras led them to Singhs’ home in Pattanamthitta. On October 9, police saw CCTV footage from the home of their neighbor, Jose Thomas. It shows parked Scorpio and Padma walking into the house.
Kochi police chief C Nagaraju told NDTV that they were investigating the Padma case and “stumbled upon two murders”.
Under police questioning, the Singhs pleaded guilty to murdering Padma and Roslyn, who have been missing since June, police said.
Police found chopped remains in a pit around the house.
Police said Padma was tortured with a knife and strangled to death. Her throat was slit and her body was chopped into 56 pieces and buried. So did Roslyn, who was hacked to death in her private parts.
Police said Shafee tortured and murdered Padma. Laila Singh killed Rosalynn, inserting a knife into her privates and slitting her throat. Bhagaval Singh cut off her breasts. Police said they were investigating the possibility of cannibalism.
Police are also investigating whether Shafie was a serial killer, among other victims. Police said he was a psychopath and a pervert who loved cruelty.
In 2020, Shafee was accused of raping a 75-year-old woman who survived with injuries similar to Padma and Rosalin, police said.
Shafi and the Singh family are charged with conspiracy, kidnapping, murder and evidence destruction. They have been sent to judicial custody for two weeks.