Kozhikode: The so-called cyanide killer and the prime accused in Koodathayi serial murders case, Jolly Amma Joseph along with her two accomplices, was on Thursday sent to police custody by First Class Chief Judicial Magistrate Court till October 16.

The matter was postponed for a bail hearing Monday at 5 PM.

The accomplices had helped the accused by supplying cyanide.

All three were arrested on the charges of plotting the murder of Jolly’s first husband Roy Thomas.

The police had sought the custody of all the three accused for 11 days for interrogation. Moreover, police also suspect the involvement of Jolly in five other deaths as she appeared to be the common thread. However, the police had granted six days of custody only.

The aforementioned deaths were also caused due to poisonous substances, for which a detailed questioning and collection of evidence at a few places was required.

As people gathered to catch a glimpse of Jolly, the police had a very tough time keeping the huge crowd at bay in the court premises. She had to be taken before the court amid tight security forcing the court to regulate entry.

The first in the family to die in 2002 was Thomas’ wife and Jolly’s mother-in-law Annamma, a retired teacher. She was followed by Jolly’s father-in-law, Tom Thomas, in 2008. In 2011, their son and Jolly’s husband Roy Thomas also died, followed by the death of Roy’s maternal uncle, Mathew, in 2014.

A two-year-old child of Sily, a relative by marriage, died the following year, while Sily herself died in 2016.

The police began the probe into the deaths after Roy Thomas’ brother, Rojo, now settled in the US, approached the Superintendent of Police and voiced his suspicions over the series of mysterious deaths.

Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra told the media in Thiruvananthapuram that he has spoken to the foremost forensic experts both serving and retired in the country and abroad.

“I by now have sought expert opinions from these experts as, once we hand over the samples to the court, then we will not be able to get it again. We are doing the best possible job in this case,” said Behra.

Behra has also increased the strength of the probe team to 35, which includes forensic experts and has formed six teams, with each team pursuing one death each.

In a related development, a local astrologer Krishnakumar from Kattapana in Idukki district from where Jolly originally hails, who was reported missing has since returned.

Speaking to the media he said he never went into hiding and he does not remember of meeting Jolly and her husband, but he often hands over a metal strip filled with some holy ash and that he gives it to many of his clients.

The police have now asked Rojo to return from the US to help in the investigation.

The police have sent the exhumed remains for forensic examination. Initial reports have indicated poisoning as the cause of the deaths and they have asked the forensic officials to expedite the test results.

(With IANS inputs)