The police have arrested a Piravom native in connection with the death of Mishel Shaji Varghese, who was found dead in Kochi last week.

 

Cronin Alexander Baby, a distant relative of the girl, was arrested on Monday night. He has been booked for abetment of suicide.

The youth was in a relationship with the girl for around two years, according to the police.

 

Mishel, a 18-year-old chartered accountancy student, left her hostel in Kacheripady to attend the evening mass on March 5 and was found dead in the Kochi lake near Thoppumpady the next day.

 

During interrogation Cronin revealed that the relationship was going through a rough patch. The police said 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.

 

The police believe Mishel was undergoing severe trauma because of the relationship and it forced her to take the extreme step. They have also got a statement from a friend of Mishel, claiming she saw Cronin hitting the girl once.

 

The case had cause an uproar among politicians, celebrities and the general public, leading to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan ordering a Crime Branch probe on Monday.