Indian-origin UK man strangled wife, twins in murder-suicide

May 15, 2015, 17:28 IST | PTI

London: An Indian-origin man in the UK who was found hanged in London earlier this week strangled his wife and twin teenage daughters before committing suicide, post-mortem results confirmed today.

Scotland Yard released the results for the family of four, originally from Kerala and believed to be British nationals based in London for eight years.

"The cause of death for Shighi Kotuvala, 37, and her twin daughters, Niya Rethishkumar and Neha Rethishkumar was given as strangulation. Pullarkattil Kunjunny Rethish Kumar, 44, was found hanging in an area near a reservoir in Forest Road, Walthamstow. His post-mortem examination confirmed death by hanging," a Metropolitan Police statement said.

"Their relationship was mother, father and twin daughters. Enquiries continue to trace any next of kin," it added. The body of Rethish Kumar was discovered by Met Police Homicide and Major Crime Command officers at Woodford Reservoir in north-east London, not far from his home at Chadwell Heath in east London where a day before police officers had discovered the bodies of Shighi and their 13-year-old twins.

A Met spokesperson said the deaths were being treated as 'unexplained' and a motive may become clear only once an inquest is conducted into the deaths.

Some local media reports suggest Rethish Kumar had wanted to relocate his family back to India which was at the heart of family discord for a while. His wife was opposed to the move and had recently asked for a divorce.

Sources close to the family said the couple had a "huge row" on Sunday when Shighi sent a message to a friend saying: "I'm fed up of this life". Her husband is understood to have feared that his family were being "corrupted" by life in the West and wanted to move back to India where they were planning to build a house.

But his wife's decision to stay in the UK may have made him fear that he was losing his family. Shighi worked as a social worker for Havering Council and her husband worked for Redbridge Leisure Services.

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