Three years after Jesna Maria James, a 20-year-old BCom student went missing from Kerala, the Kerala High Court has ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into her disappearance. Jesna, a second-year BCom student went missing from her home in Vechoochira, near Erumeli in Pathanamthitta district on March 22, 2018. Though a Special Investigation Team was formed to probe the disappearance and they had travelled to many states, Jesna was never found.
The Kerala High Court delivered its order based on a petition filed by Jesna’s brother Jaice John and KSU leader KM Abhijith. The court has directed the state government to provide adequate infrastructural facilities to CBI.
Jesna went missing while she was on her way from her house in Pathanamthitta district, to her aunt's house near Mundakayam in Kottayam. While it was confirmed that Jesna took a bus from Erumeli to Mundakayam, it is not clear what happened to her after that.
During the course of the investigation, it was found that Jesna had made several calls to her friend and her last text message to him before she disappeared was that she was going to die. However, nothing substantial was found after questioning the friend.
Jesna’s family has gone through a lot of trauma in these years. A few months after her disappearance, the charred body of a young woman found in Chennai was suspected to be that of Jesna’s. However, a DNA probe confirmed otherwise.
Since the police had announced a cash reward of Rs 2 lakh for anyone giving information about Jesna, the SIT had got many tip-offs, but none of them proved worthwhile. It was suspected that Jesna was spotted in Bengaluru. Meanwhile, another young woman called Ramlath, who lives in Kottayam and is a Jesna lookalike, had also given a request through social media asking people not to take her pictures and send them to the police, assuming she was Jesna. Read here.
Jesna’s mother Sancy died in 2017 due to an illness. She was living in the house with her father James Joseph and elder brother Jaice John James. Jaice, an engineering student, had gone to college on the day Jesna went missing, while James was away at work.