Coroner's inquiry clears man of wife's death

Coroner's inquiry clears man of wife's death
Mr Nageswara Koka, 40, a Singaporean PR, found his wife and daughter dead when he returned home to his Compassvale HDB home last year.
PHOTO: TNP

He returned home last February to find his pregnant wife and older daughter dead.

Over the past year, as Mr Koka Nageswara, 40, grappled with the loss of half his family, he found himself accused by his in-laws of killing his wife and daughter.

Yesterday, a coroner's inquiry cleared the Singapore permanent resident of any wrongdoing in the deaths of Madam Koka Sujana, 34, and their seven-year-old daughter, Koka Aadhitri.

State Coroner Marvin Bay found Madam Sujana's cause of death to be suicide and Aadhitri to have died from natural causes. 

The verdict may have been slight relief for Mr Koka, an engineer, but the state coroner's findings did little to alleviate his grief and sorrow.

"My life is ruined, gone," he told The New Paper outside the courtroom after the hearing.

"That's half my family gone. I don't know what is going to happen from now on."

At about 5.40am on Feb 18 last year, Mr Koka returned to his second-storey HDB flat in Compassvale after a two-week pilgrimage in India.

Before he could enter his home, he heard a thud coming from the foot of his block.

When he looked down, he saw his wife's motionless body, after she had fallen, possibly from the 17th storey.

She was about 18 weeks pregnant.

TRAGEDY

Minutes later, Mr Koka faced another tragedy.

The police found his seven-year-old daughter dead in the master bedroom.

A four-year-old daughter, Lahari, was taken to hospital after she began vomiting at the scene.

The police later found suicide notes left by his wife, blaming Mr Koka for an unhappy marriage.

"I was shocked when I got home that day. It was the worst day of my life," he said.

Mr Koka also said that he did not know his wife, a Singapore permanent resident, was unhappy, adding that she seemed fine before he left for India.

"Every marriage has its challenges and complications, and there were times where she got angry and started screaming, but never did she tell me she was unhappy being married to me," he said.

Mr Koka also denied allegations by Madam Sujana's brother, Mr Srikanth Koka, that he had killed Madam Sujana and their daughter.

"It's not true. He stayed here with us before. He could see there were no disputes," he said.

For now, Mr Koka said he is just trying to get his and his other daughter's lives back on track.

She made a full recovery after spending 17 days in hospital and is staying with his sister in India, where she is also studying.

"I cared very much for my wife and my older daughter. I never expected this to happen," he said.

Wife wrote 2 suicide notes

There is no substance to assertions that Mr Koka Nageswara killed his wife, said State Coroner Marvin Bay in his findings yesterday.

Investigations established that just three minutes separated him alighting from the taxi at the foot of his block and calling the police, said the state coroner.

This points to a purposeful, self-induced fall by Madam Sujana from a high floor.

This was further supported by two suicide notes, as well as an e-mail sent to the police by her brother detailing her unhappiness with her marriage.

There were also no signs of a struggle along the corridors or units in the block, Mr Bay said.

PESTICIDE

While there were traces of bedbug pesticide found in her, a forensic pathologist established that she died from multiple injuries, consistent with a fall from height, he said.

Their seven-year-old daughter, Koka Lahari, was also found to have died about three to six hours before Madam Sujana's death.

Lahari was also found to have ingested the bedbug pesticide, which was possibly administered by Madam Sujana in her disturbed state of mind, Mr Bay said.

But this did not cause her death.

Lahari had died from natural causes - small coronary artery disease, said Mr Bay.

Meanwhile, Madam Sujana's youngest daughter, Koka Aaditri, was found to have displayed symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and seizures, consistent with someone who had ingested antimicrobial agent Omedizole.

Mr Bay concluded that the cause of Madam Sujana's death was an act of suicide and he extended his deepest condolences to Mr Koka, who was in the courtroom


This article was first published on June 27, 2015.
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