The body of 54-year-old nun Susan Mathew was found inside a well at the Mount Thabor in Pathanapuram, Kollam in Kerala. She used to teach at the St. Stephens School in Pathanapuram, about 80 km from the state capital.
Around 9 am, workers at the Mount Thabor Convent, attached to the Orthodox church, first found blood stains near the well and then saw the body floating inside the well. It was when police and fire force fished out the body that people in the convent realised it was that of Susan Mathew.
Speaking to media persons on Monday, Kollam Rural SP Ashokan said that the nun was taking treatment for an illness for the last several years. She had consulted the doctor yesterday as well.
Another nun in the convent told the police that Susan was depressed over her sickness. Today morning, the other nuns saw her till 8 am. They asked her if she was coming along with them to church, she said no and stayed back at the convent.
After the other nuns returned from the Church, they saw the dead body inside the well. Susan had been teaching at the school for the past 12 years.
Both the school and the convent is run by the Kottayam-headquartered Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church. The cause of the death remains unknown.
Kerala had witnessed a similar death a few decades ago. Sister Abhaya, a Knanaya Catholic nun, was found dead on March 27, 1992, in the Pius Tenth Convent in Kottayam. Her body was found in a well in the convent.
Local police and crime branch closed the case back then, calling it a suicide. But a year later, in 1993, the case was reopened and taken up by the CBI, after the crime branch investigation was called a sham and the police accused of trying to aid the killers.
The trial on the case has been going on for years and in March 2018, a special CBI court dismissed the discharge pleas filed by two of the accused, Fr Thomas Kottoor and Sr Sephy.