A couple in India was taken into custody for starving the husband’s parents to death and hastily burying their bodies to cover up the crime.

The parents, identified as 90-year-old Ramachandra Reddy and 80-year-old Anasuyamma, died on May 27. Their son, Nageswar Reddy, and daughter-in-law, Laxmi, informed the neighbors they succumbed to COVID-19, and immediately buried their bodies in a pit. The incident took place in the southern state of Telangana, The New Indian Express reported.

However, some of the neighbors got skeptical and alerted the police, who initially registered a suspicious death case. Investigators then exhumed the bodies and sent the corpses for an autopsy, which revealed they died of dehydration due to starvation.

An investigation revealed the elderly couple had two sons. The younger son, who was looking after them, died in early May after which they started living with Nageswar. The accused allegedly made the couple stay in a makeshift wooden structure, the roof of which was made of cement bags. Nageswar and his wife did not give the elderly couple food or water, resulting in them dying of starvation, Telangana Today reported.

Following the investigation, Nageswar and his wife were taken into custody Monday and charged with culpable homicide. They remained in jail as of Tuesday. No information was available regarding their bail plea.

Last month, a man in the Indian town of Lucknow killed his wife’s parents after she eloped with another man. The incident came to light after the couple’s son filed a missing person’s complaint. The search for them ended after their bodies were recovered from the outskirts of the town. The police obtained proof against the accused, Milan, in connection with the murder and took him into custody. During interrogation, Milan confessed to the crime and said he killed the couple as an act of revenge after their daughter eloped with another man. He was charged with murder.

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