JOHOR BARU: Findings from the post-mortem on four bodies of a family found inside their home in Mutiara Rini last Friday have confirmed police's suspicion that it was a murder-suicide case.
Iskandar Puteri police chief Assistant Commissioner Noor Hashim Mohamad said with the forensic findings, the case was considered closed.
He said the post-mortem on P. Pubalan Retnam, 53, his wife Jeya Pichamuthu, 46, and their children Sharveen Pubalan, 14, and Krishaa Priteena, 9, concluded that the wife and the two children were murdered by Pubalan.
Noor Hashim said Pubalan later committed suicide by hanging himself with a piece of cloth from the ceiling in one of the bedrooms.
He said the post-mortem also showed that Jeya died due to a hard compression to the blood vessel in her neck.
"The compression to the jugular blood vessel resulted in her death as the blood flow was blocked," he said.
Noor Hashim said the compression applied on Jeya, who was also suffering from kidney problems, was from a soft object such as a pillow or a piece of cloth.
"There were no visible marks or lesion on her skin but pathologist found tiny blood spots on her neck, lips and eyes which could indicate that the blood flow was disrupted due to a blockage," he said at a press conference at the Iskandar Puteri police headquarters in Nusa Bestari.
Noor Hisham said police also found a leather belt that bore similar markings to the marks found on the necks of the two children, suggesting that Pubalan had used the belt to strangle his children.
"Finally, Pubalan ended his life by hanging himself with a Dhoti cloth that had been tied to the ceiling of one of the upstairs bedrooms."
Noor Hisham said the motive was the same as Johor Police Chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd had said earlier, that the husband was having financial difficulties and was under stress with the deteriorating health of his wife.
Khalil had given his assurance that the investigation into the case was almost complete.
Khalil said police's suspicion that the husband was the killer was based on several factors including a note written in Tamil that was found on a dressing table in the same room where he had hanged himself.
Police investigation also showed that there were no signs of possible outsiders' involvement or any attempt of force entry into the house on the day the bodies were discovered.
Noor Hisham said statements from neighbours suggested that the family was facing financial difficulties as Pubalan had to spend a lot of money for treatment of his wife.
"According to neighbours, the problem began almost four years ago and worsened two years later due to his failing business.
“This means that he did not have enough money for the treatment of his wife's illness," he said.
Noor Hashim said the remains of all four had been claimed by Pubalan's brother P. Seeladorai, who came from Kedah on Friday night to assist police in identifying the victims.
"The brother claimed the four remains last night after the post-mortem was completed at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital mortuary," he said.
Noor Hisham said he was informed that Seeladorai would take the four bodies to Taiping for cremation today.
At press time, attempts to contact Seeladorai was futile as he was not answering his mobile phone.
On Friday, Pubalan's body was found at about 2.30pm and Jeya's body was found on a bed placed beside the living area on the ground floor.
The bodies of Sharveen and Krishaa were found lying side by side in another bedroom with a prayer altar on the first floor.
Police had said Pubalan's friend discovered the bodies as he had an appointment with the deceased at the house.