NINE relatives from the same family have been found dead, including a 15-year-old girl, in a horrifying discovery.
The corpses were found in two different houses owned by two brothers who were living separately with their families.
All of the relatives are believed to have died after consuming poison, according to police in the Maharashtra region of western India.
However, the true cause of death will only be known after a full investigation, reports the Times of India.
The brothers’ two houses were just 1.5km from each other in the village of Mhaisal, Sangli district, around 350km from Mumbai.
Preliminary reports suggest the pair may have had a suicide pact after falling into heavy debt, according to NDTV.
Their bodies were discovered when a girl from the village went to one of the houses to find out why nobody had come to fetch milk from them for several days.
The dead include brothers Popat and Dr Manik Vanmore, their elderly mother, both of their wives, and a total of four children.
Popat worked as a teacher while Manik was a vet, police said.
Six of the bodies were found at Manik’s house, and suicide notes discovered at both properties are being analyzed.
“It looks that the family members of the two brothers have ended their lives,” Inspector General Manoj Kumar Lohiya said.
“As per information received so far, both the brothers had borrowed money from various people.”
The senior police officer added: “Though it looks like a suicide pact, we are investigating the case from all angles as it is a serious incident.”
Times Now News reports that the deceased have been identified as Popat Yallappa (52), a veterinary doctor, Sangeeta Popat (48), Archana Popat (30), Shubham Popat (28), Manik Yallappa (49), Rekha Manik (45), Aditya Manik Van (15), Anita Manik (28) and Akkatai (72).
Reports say the family members were last seen alive on Monday morning.
“Nine dead bodies have been recovered in Mhaisal village of Sangli district, out of which three bodies have been recovered from one house and six dead bodies from the other house,” according to local official Dixit Gedam.
“The forensic team is present on the spot.”
Another official added that the bodies had been photographed before being sent away for an autopsy.
The Vanmore’s neighbors said that the family had taken loans from a number of local villagers and neighbors.
Police are preparing to question the lenders.