Police in India arrested a man on Thursday, accusing him of murdering his wife and young daughter by releasing a snake into the bedroom while they slept.
Investigators believe K Ganesh Patra, 25, committed the murders in early October in Adheigaon village, in Odisha’s Ganjam district, according to reporting from local news station INDIA TV.
At the time of the incident, Patra was reportedly having a dispute with his wife of three years, 23-year-old K Basanti.
According to police, Patra bought the snake from a local snake charmer, telling him he wanted the cobra for religious purposes.
Odisha Man Kills Wife, 2-Year-Old Daughter By Releasing Snake In Room
The accused had allegedly procured a snake from a snake charmer, lying to him that he would use the reptile for religious purposes, a police officer said.https://t.co/b24hVbN42f pic.twitter.com/DBf5n709ub
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They believe sometime on the night of Oct. 6, he released the venomous snake into the room where Basanti and daughter Debasmita, 2, were sleeping.
The next morning, Patra said he found his wife and daughter dead, with snake bites on their body, according to The Daily Mail.
Patra told police he informed his neighbors, who killed the serpent and took Basanti and Debasmita to a local hospital, where they were declared dead.
The details of the deaths drew suspicion, especially after Patra’s father-in-law accused him of the murders, prompting local police officers to question Patra as well as snake charmers in the area.
They also found it curious that the cobra remained in the bedroom after the fatal bites occurred.
“During interrogation, he [Patra] initially denied the allegation and later claimed that the snake might have entered the room on its own, but eventually confessed to committing the crime,” Superintendent of Police Jagmohan Meena said.
“The accused was arrested a month after the incident as there was some delay in gathering evidence against him,” Meena said.
The incident remains under investigation by local police.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.