The skeleton recovered from a barrel that was floating in a lake at Kumbalam in Kochi has been identified to be that of a woman.
The investigating agencies have also said that the body was barely clothed and the legs were tied together. The investigators have also recovered three denotified Rs 500 notes from the barrel.
The dead woman, possibly around 30, was sealed in the barrel in an inverted position. According to police, the barrel was filled with concrete and bricks and people reported about the barrel after it started stinking. Police suspect that the woman was murdered and the body was first stuffed into the barrel and concrete poured into it.
The barrel had been floating in the lake for almost a year and it caught the attention of the police after Manorama reported about it. Fishermen had first noticed the barrel at the bottom of the lake a year ago after they found some oily substance on the lake surface. However, they ignored it thinking that the barrel was full of bricks and concrete.
The lake was cleaned two months ago and the barrel was shifted to the shore. When it started stinking and ants started swarming the barrel, the news spread.
After media reports, the police broke open the barrel on Monday and found the skeleton. Except for the skeleton and hair, nothing was left of the body. The police suspect that the barrel was sealed with concrete after stuffing the body in it.
Earlier, the body of a man was found tied in a sack filled with stones in Nettoor near Kochi. The stones found in the barrel are similar to those found in the sack. The police are also examining if there is any similarity between the two murders.