Kerala Serial Killing: Accused Jolly Joseph’s Second Husband Overruled Doctors, Refused Post Mortem Into Death Of His First Wife

Nikhila Henry
A file image of Jolly Joseph.

KOODATHAI, Kerala — Shaju Skaria, the husband of Jolly Joseph, a 47-year-old woman accused of poisoning six relatives including Shaju’s first wife and his infant daughter, refused a post-mortem autopsy on his daughter Alphine, who died in 2014, and his first wife Sily, when she died in 2016, hospital authorities told HuffPost India.

A statement, signed by Shaju, declining an autopsy on Sily has been handed over to the police by the hospital, hospital authorities said. HuffPost India couldn’t review this document as it is now in the possession of the Kerala police. 

This revelation is significant as authorities have, thus far, sought to blame all six deaths on Jolly. Shaju has been questioned by the police twice this month, but is currently not in custody and is yet to be accused of any of the murders. 

Now interviews with doctors, and a review of Sily’s medical records, suggest the circumstances around her death could point continuing investigations in Shaju’s direction.

MK Mubarak, the administrative officer of the Santhi Hospital in Omassery told HuffPost India that Shaju “vociferously refused the duty doctor’s insistence that postmortem should be conducted” on his first wife Sily after she succumbed to what appeared to be an acute case of breathlessness. Sily was declared dead at 6:45 pm on 11 January, 2016.

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“The doctor, P Shamseer, who treated Sily had a hunch based on his medical investigation that Sily could not have died of natural causes,” Mubarak said. “He had communicated the same to Shaju and other relatives who were present at the hospital. Shaju Skaria, however, insisted that the death can only be natural and that postmortem should not be conducted”. 

When the hospital continued to push for an autopsy, Mubarak said, “Shaju signed a document which stated that postmortem should not be conducted despite the hospital’s...

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