Unidentified woman's skeletal remains found inside a barrel at Kumbalam

Panangad police smashed open one side of the drum after local fishermen complained of foul smell emanating and oily substance leaking from the drum

Panangad police told TNM that the body that was found was that of a woman's, who is believed to be 30 years old.

On Monday morning, people became suspicious to find ants covering the entire barrel, and subsequently, it was broken open in the presence of the police.

The barren expanse, where the barrel was found, belongs to an Alappuzha-based private company.

According to police, a human body, prima facie that of a female, was kept inside the barrel and sealed with concrete and filled it with bricks. It was from the hair and a silver anklet that the body was initially identified to be a woman's. "We have confirmed the body is of a woman aged around 30. We think the murder is likely to have taken place before December, 2016", said Siby Tom, circle inspector of Ernakulam South, the investigating officer.

The land measuring around six acres is situated near the National Highway and the lake at Kumbalam.

The blue barrel was first washed ashore. Since it was found floating in the water more than a year ago, the body might be older than a year,"said the CI".

Police reached the area following complaints that foul smell was emanating from the barrel reportedly recovered two months ago during a dredging operation in the backwater. The police have not made any breakthrough in the investigation so far. The stones found in the barrel are similar to those found in the sack.

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