The Kerala Police on Monday said that the main accused person in a case related to the murder of two women had earlier worked as a helper at a mortuary, and alleged that he used this experience to cut their bodies into pieces, The Indian Express reported.

The women were killed allegedly as part of a human sacrifice ritual for prosperity.

Kochi Police Commissioner CH Nagaraju said that the accused man, Muhammed Shafi, earlier worked at the mortuary of the Perumbavoor government hospital in Ernakulam.

“We have a statement from the accused to that effect, but there is no documentary evidence as it had happened around 20 years back,” the police chief said. “He might have used this mortuary background to cut the bodies of the two women.”

The two women, Rosily and Padmam, were killed in Elanthoor village in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district. Rosily had been missing since June 6, while Padmam disappeared on September 26.

Their bodies were exhumed on October 11 from the home of a couple identified as Bhagaval Singh and Laila. The police arrested the couple along with Shafi, who is a resident of Perumbavoor.

According to the police, Shafi had lured Padmam for sex work by promising her Rs 15,000 but killed her after an argument over the promised money.

Similarly, Rosily was killed after she was lured by Shafi to the couple’s home after being promised Rs 10 lakh. The police claimed that Singh chopped off her breasts before the rest of her body was cut into pieces and buried.

The police on Monday took DNA samples of the three accused persons at the Ernakulam Medical College, ANI reported. Authorities also carried out a potency test on the accused persons.

A potency test, used in some criminal cases involving allegations of sexual assault, is used to establish whether a person is capable of engaging in sexual intercourse in normal circumstances.