Last October, an elderly couple in Karuvaloor village of Kerala’s Kollam district woke up to a shock: their son Sam Abraham, 34, had died in Australia, where he worked. He had just been home on leave and returned with his wife and son only three days earlier.
Sam’s wife, Sofia, brought his body home, attended the funeral and returned soon to Melbourne, where she too had a job. She told her in-laws that Sam had died of a sudden heart attack. Melbourne police, however, suspected murder and declared last week that they have cracked the case. Sam was poisoned with cyanide by Sofia, they had concluded, and arrested her along with a friend, Arun Kamalasanan, also from Kollam and working in Melbourne.
According to reports in the Australian media, police stumbled upon the alleged murder plot while probing an assault on Sam in July last year. For the last three months, detectives had been intercepting calls between Sofia and Kamalasanan, leading to the arrest.
The two were remanded in custody until February 13 next year. When the court pronounced the remand order, they reportedly stood expressionless. Sofia’s seven-year-old son was handed over to the care of her elder sister Sonia, a nurse in Melbourne. Sam and Sofia were childhood friends, singing in the choir of a local church. Sofia, the youngest daughter of a retired defence officer, is believed to have met Kamalasanan while in college. She studied M Sc in electronics and worked as an IT professional in Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram. She married Sam in 2008.
Kamalasanan, an instrumentation engineer, was already in Melbourne since 2008. He is married with a son. Sam’s father said the family never knew about Sofia’s alleged extramarital affair, nor had they ever heard of Kamalasanan.