A man has been accused of heinously killing his wife and two children with an electric saw after celebrating their wedding anniversary before proceeding to take his own life in Chennai, India on Saturday, May 28.

The accused murderer has been identified as N Prakash, 41. He allegedly killed his wife Gayathri, 39, their daughter Nithyashri, 13, and son Hariharan, 8. The violent deaths came to light on Saturday morning after Prakash's father-in-law Ramanan entered the couple's home along with Ubaithullah, the family's neighbor.

The two found Prakash and the rest of his family lying in a pool of blood in the living room, with their necks slit gruesomely. The electric saw was found still stuck in Prakash's neck, the Times Of India reported.

Law enforcement who responded to the scene found two suicide notes that claimed the murder-suicide was the joint “decision” of the couple and that no one should be held responsible for the killings. According to the family's neighbors, the couple had gone out to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary on Friday, May 27, and returned home at around 11 p.m.

A preliminary investigation revealed that Prakash had bought the battery-powered electric saw on May 19 through an online shopping platform. On Saturday morning, Ubaithullah, a neighbor, heard the sound of an electric saw coming from Prakash’s house.

Prakash reportedly worked as a software engineer at Cognizant Technologies Limited while his wife ran a traditional medicine shop in the neighborhood. The couple's daughter Nithya Shree was studying 9th grade in a nearby school and their son Harikrishnan was in second grade, the New Indian Express reported.

The authorities revealed that Prakash had borrowed money to grow his wife’s business during the pandemic. Failing to repay the loan, it was found that his debt amounted to more than 10 lakh rupees (US$12,900). Officers suspect that his debt may have forced Prakash to take the extreme step and that the man might have sedated his family members before murdering them.

Law enforcement has collected food samples from the residence, as well as a cake left behind at the house after the couple's anniversary, for forensic examination to ascertain if the items had been laced with sedatives.

Following the gruesome deaths, the Shankar Nagar police have sent to the family's bodies to Chromepet Government Hospital for postmortem examination.

“There were no signs of struggle at the spot. We suspect that Prakash must have given them sleeping pills before killing them,” M Ravi, Commissioner of Police, Tambaram Commissionerate, said.

A man has been reported dead after reportedly being pinned and crushed by a large branch while he was cutting down trees in Fairfax, Olivia, Minnesota on Tuesday, Sept. 13. This is a representational image. Pixabay/621hjmit

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