Mishel, an 18-year-old chartered accountancy student, left her hostel in Kacheripady to attend the evening mass at St Antony’s shrine in Kaloor on March 5 and was found dead in the Kochi lake near Thoppumpady the next day. A Piravom native, Mishel was staying in Kochi to prepare for her examinations. She was last seen leaving the church, and soon after her mobile phone was switched off near Kaloor.

The only major breakthrough in the case came when the police arrested distant relative Cronin Alexander Baby, 26, who was later revealed to be Mishel's boyfriend, on charges of abetment of suicide. During the interrogation, Cronin had revealed that their relationship was going through a rough patch.

There was hope when the Crime Branch took over the investigation from the local police but the new probe team is yet to make any headway and go beyond the findings of the initial team. Sixty days on, the CB sleuths investigating the case are still not close to filing chargesheet. Crime Branch SP PK Madhu, who was leading the probe, was transferred and DySP Sasidharan was given charge of the probe but even that has not helped to speed up proceedings.

Crime Branch officers say they are looking into various angles but even after two months of investigation, several questions remain unanswered in the case.

> Mishel's mobile phone and bag, which went missing along with her, are yet to be recovered. Many questions surrounding her death and her mental state at the time could be answered if these items are found. There is also the question of how can both the phone and bag be missing together for such a long time unless it was purposely hidden.

> In the CCTV footage from the church it appeared that two youths were following Mishel on a bike. Why did the police choose not to follow up on the lead, even later when there were no new angles to probe? Even if the youths weren't involved in the incident, there was a possibility of their statements leading to something.

> It emerged that Cronin sent 57 text messages to Mishel on March 4 and 32 more on the day she went missing. He also called her several times on both days. Plus, the police got a statement from a friend of Mishel, claiming that she saw Cronin hitting the girl once. However, both probe teams failed to find the nature or the content of Cronin's conversations with Mishel on these days.

> If Mishel really planned to commit suicide why did she choose a place like Goshree bridge, which is crowded especially in the evening? And even more perplexing is that no one saw her walking to the bridge and jumping off it on such a busy road.