Man charged with murder of nurse and her two children ‘all killed by asphyxiation’

A 52-year-old man has been charged with the murders of a mother and her two young children.

Saju Chelavalel was arrested after officers found Anju Asok, 35, Jeeva Saju, six, and Janvi Saju, four, with serious injuries at his address in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The mother and two children died a short time later.

Post-mortem examinations at Leicester Royal Infirmary determined all three died as a result of asphyxiation.

Mr Chelavalel will appear at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Simon Barnes, said: ‘Our thoughts continue to be with the family of Anju, Jeeva and Janvi, who we are determined to seek justice for.

‘Incidents of this nature are incredibly distressing, and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who responded to the 999 call on Thursday, or has been involved with the subsequent investigation, for the professionalism and respect they have shown.

‘I also want to thank the local community as we know how upsetting it is for an incident of this nature to take place. We will continue to have members of our Neighbourhood Policing Team on patrol in the area and I urge anyone with any concerns to please speak to them.’

Police earlier confirmed Anju was a staff nurse at Kettering General Hospital.

The hospital chief executive, Deborah Needham, said in a statement: ‘Yesterday we received the extremely upsetting news that one of our colleagues had died in circumstances being investigated by Northamptonshire Police.

‘Anju Asok was an internationally trained nurse who joined our KGH family in 2021 and predominantly worked on Barnwell B – one of our Orthopaedic wards.

‘She was a committed and compassionate staff nurse, who was loved and respected by her dear friends and colleagues.

‘All our thoughts are with her friends and family as they come to terms with this sudden loss.’

Business manager Pierino Geranio, who runs his uncle’s barber shop near to the cul-de-sac where the incident happened, said: ‘You speak to people about it and they just can’t believe it.

‘I come here every day to work and you never expect anything like this – it’s so tragic. It’s totally terrible, beyond comprehension.’

Flowers have been left beside the police cordon blocking off Petherton Court, alongside cuddly toys.

An unsigned note attached to one of the tributes read: ‘We were shocked and devastated by the news. The community will always remember this extremely sad and distressing incident. RIP. We hope you are in a better place.’

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