In another development to the Mishel Shaji Varghese death probe, the Crime Branch has charged her boyfriend Cronin Alexander Baby under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.


Mishel turned 18 only a couple of months ago but Cronin has admitted that he was in a relationship with her for around two years. With friends of both Mishel and Cronin giving statements suggesting that he had been aggressive and abusive towards her, the probe team has now booked him under the POSCO Act, and filed a report to the court regarding the development.


Cronin, 26, who was initially arrested for abetment of suicide, had already admitted that the relationship was going through a tough patch, while a friend of Mishel told the police she had seen Cronin hitting the girl once.


Cronin had made several calls and sent dozens of text messages to her on the day she went missing. Crime Branch believe Mishel committed suicide due to the trauma caused by the relationship.


Mishel, who left her hostel on March 5 to attend the evening mass at Kaloor church, was found dead in the Kochi lake the next day.