Hours before death, priest had spoken to parents as usual: Mumbai police

The body of 29-year-old Father John Koovakunnel was found inside his room at St. Anthony Church at 8 am on Sunday.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:October 4, 2016 1:43 am

The parents of a priest who allegedly committed suicide in a church in Khopoli on Sunday have told the police that he spoke normally to them just hours before his death.

“The parents of the deceased called him every night. During these phone calls, the deceased would tell them everything he was doing,” said an officer at Khopoli police station, adding that the last phone call between them was made at 10.30 pm on Saturday.

What what else is in the news

The body of 29-year-old Father John Koovakunnel was found inside his room at St. Anthony Church at 8 am on Sunday. A post-mortem put the time of death at six hours before discovery of the body.

“The deceased must have committed suicide hours after speaking to his family. The parents have told us that he spoke to them very normally. They did not get any indication that something was troubling him,” said Vijay Pandhartpatte, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Khalapur.

A preliminary investigation with the family and at the church revealed that there was nothing troubling him there, the police said.
“There was no tension at home. The deceased was looking forward to the marriage of his younger brother next month,” the officer said.

Concerned parishioners at the church broke down the door to Koovakunnel’s room on Sunday morning after he did not arrive for the morning mass. The police said the door had been bolted from inside, and he had not left any suicide note.

“We checked his entire room thoroughly, but did not find any clues. We have also gone through his diary, but he has no written anything in it that points towards a motive for suicide,” the officer said.

Detailed inquiries will be made with the church in the days to come, while the police will also analyse his cell phone for more clues, the officer said.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com