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Man lets cobra loose on sleeping wife, watches it bite her to death so he can 'take her money and remarry'

He took her to a local hospital in the morning but it was too late by then
UPDATED MAY 25, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A man has been accused of killing his wife by having a venomous snake bite her because he was unsatisfied with their marriage and wanted to find a new partner.

The disturbing incident took place in the city of Kollam located in the southern Indian state of Kerala, according to India Today, with authorities opening an investigation on May 7, the day the victim, Uthra, died. She was declared dead at a local hospital, with the cause of death ruled as a snake bite. However, the victim's family quickly grew suspicious of her husband, Sooraj, since she had been treated for a snake bite as recently as March. They called police when he tried to secure ownership of her property just days after her death.

During the subsequent investigation, detectives learned that he had used a snake to kill his wife, and uncovered a similar plot he had hatched a few months earlier during another attempt to kill her. Police said he had first plotted to kill Uthra in February when he arranged for a highly-venomous Russel's Viper with the help of his friend, Suresh.

Following a bite, Uthra had been hospitalized, though she successfully fought off the ailment after a month's treatment. She was discharged to her parents' home in Anchal, where Sooraj targeted her again earlier this month.

He reportedly bought an Indian Cobra from Suresh on April 6 to carry out the plan, and on May 6, took the snake out and kept it on his wife's body. He then sat on the bed and watched as it bit her twice but did nothing to help her. He took her to the hospital the next morning, by which point it was already too late.

His guilt was all but confirmed when detectives found digital evidence on his mobile phone which indicated he had been watching snake-related videos on YouTube for the last three months, the Times of India reported.

Police said that money was his motive for killing Uthra. They revealed he had received a substantial amount of money and gold as dowry — a transfer of property, gifts, or money from the bride's family to the groom at the time of marriage — but that he wasn't satisfied with her and wanted to take the money and find another partner.

A family friend revealed to the Indian Express that her father was an affluent businessman who had given his daughter 120 sovereigns during the wedding and would regularly help out his in-laws' family. 

Sooraj, a private bank employee from Adoor in Pathanamthitta district, has been arrested and remanded to 14 days in judicial custody. Suresh, who is a snake-catcher who had been involved in the illegal trade of reptiles, has been arrested as well, though his case is expected to be prosecuted by the Forest Department.

"One guy who provided the snakes and the husband who initially attempted to kill his wife with a poisonous snake and later succeeded in killing her in the same manner have been arrested," Kollam police chief K S Hari Sankar confirmed to reporters.