On 18 December 1984, Ayakannu Marithamuthu (Muthu) a live-in caretaker and a father of three was reported missing by his wife, Nagaratha Vally Ramiah. Ramiah stated that her husband had not returned from a trip to Genting Highlands in Malaysia having left Singapore on 12 December 1984. Police found no cause of suspicion of foul play and the case went cold.
It was not till 9 January 1987, three years after, a police informant told Detective G. Alagamalai that a man Muthu had been murdered. His body chopped up into pieces and cooked in curry. Initially, he was skeptical but he brought the information up to his superiors and was assigned to investigates the leads.
He managed to trace back to the missing-persons report filed by Muthu’s wife. After two months of speaking to over 30 people he managed to piece part of the gruesome case together.
On 23 March 1987, the police conducted an operation to bring in the suspects. Eight suspects were called in. They were Ramiah (Muthu’s wife), his mother-in-law Kamachi Krishnasamy, Ramiah’s three brothers Rathakrishnana Ramayah, Shanmugam Chandra and Balakrishna Ramiah and their wives.The suspects were intentionally denied any knowledge of Muthu’s murder.
It was not till 25 March 1987, details of the murder soon uncovered. On the afternoon of 12 December 1984, Muthu was brought to the caretaker’s quarters of the Presbyterian Church by the three brothers. At night, it was said that Muthu was bludgeoned with an iron rod in the kitchen of the quarters and his body then chopped up and cooked with chili powder, spices and rice in a large aluminium pot (often used in Indian restaurants.) His remains, including the pieces of skull and bones were placed into black plastic bags and disposed of in different roadside rubbish bin. His remains were never recovered.
On 27 March 1987, Ramiah and her three brothers were charged with the murder of Muthu. Her mother and sister-in-law were charged the following day with abetting the murder. They went on trial on 6 June 1987. The case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence. The three brothers were detailed at Changi Prison from 22 June 1987 to 21 June 1991 where their legal challenge to their detainment was successful and they were released unconditionally.
It was said that Muthu was a bad-tempered man who was often drunk and abusive towards his wife. However, he would always apologize to her after he calm down.