A 27-year-old Indian man is accused of killing his 25-year-old wife by purposely throwing a cobra on her while she slept. The death prompted suspicions from the woman’s parents because it was the second time she’d be bitten by a venomous snake within three months.
According to the Indian Express, police were able to find evidence of the murder via the husband, Sooraj’s, phone and computer searches. They arrested him along with the snake handler who supplied two different poisonous snakes to Sooraj, both of which bit the wife, Uthra.
Police Say Sooraj Tried To Kill His Wife With a Viper In Early March
Police say Sooraj tried to kill his wife with a Russell’s viper, one of the most venomous snakes in Asia, in early March. He bought the viper from his snake-handler friend, Santhosh, 47, police say, in late February and kept it at their home. On March 2, Uthra was bitten by the snake at their home and was hospitalized for two months.
After she was released from the hospital, she went to her parent’s house to continue her recovery.
Kollam Rural Superintendent of Police Harisanker told the Indian Express that the couple had a “strained relationship” and that Uthra’s family was well-off while Sooraj came from modest means.
According to a police statement, “Sooraj feared that divorcing Uthra would mean giving back all the dowry. That’s when he decided to kill her,” the Telegraph reported, saying the dowry included “nearly 100 gold coins, a new car and some 500,000 rupees (around $20,000) in cash.”
Sooraj Intentionally Snuck a Cobra Into the Bedroom Where He Slept With His Wife and Young Son & Stayed in the Room As She Lay Dying
Police said that Sooraj bought the cobra from Santhosh on April 24 and kept it at his home while his wife was still at her parent’s house recovering from the viper bite. On May 7, they say Sooraj went to stay the night with his wife and one-and-a-half-year-old son and he snuck the cobra to the house in a bottle.
Once Uthra was asleep, police say that Sooraj threw the snake toward his wife. It bit her twice and went behind a cupboard. According to the Indian Express Sooraj stayed awake all night while poison from the cobra circulated through his wife’s body, and he did not tell anyone about the bites.
The Telegraph reported a police statement said, “Sooraj stayed in the same room as Uthra as if nothing had happened. He was going about his morning routine the next day when he was alerted by Uthra’s mother’s screams. They took her to the hospital where the doctor said she had died.”
Once Uthra’s suspicions were brought to police, their investigation found that Sooraj had been researching youtube videos on how to handle snakes, and his communications with the snake broker, Santhosh, showed his intent.
Both Sooraj and Santhosh were arrested and charged with the killing. The Malayala Manorama reported that Sooraj confessed to using the snake to kill his wife.
According to the University of Michigan, it only takes about 30 minutes for a person to die from a cobra bite. Their venom contains postsynaptic neurotoxins that spread quickly throughout the bloodstream of its prey, and those neurotoxins cause respiratory failure which leads to death.
A person can survive a cobra bite, however, if they are given anti-venom shortly after the bite happens. If anti-venom is not available, survival is still possible with the help of a ventilator. The venom paralyzes the diaphragm muscles making it impossible to breathe. A ventilator can breathe for a person until the paralysis wears off.