The bodies of 11 family members — including 10 hanging and blindfolded — turned up inside a home in India's capital on Sunday, police said.
Investigators discovered the bodies at the home in New Delhi’s Burari village after they received a call Sunday morning informing them that some “members of a family have committed suicide” -- but surviving relatives insisted it was murder.
During a search of the home, police found handwritten notes that indicated an “observance of some definite spiritual or mystical practices by the whole family.”
"Coincidentally, these notes have strong similarity with the manner in which the mouths, eyes etc of the deceased were tied and taped," investigators said in a statement.
The victims were identified as a 77-year-old woman, her two sons and their wives, a daughter and five grandchildren.
While a note was found, police said it didn’t appear to be a suicide note. Investigators, however, were looking into whether their deaths were by suicide or if they were murdered.
There were no bullet marks on the victims’ bodies and there was no sign of forced entry into the home, police said.
The 10 family members’ bodies which were found hanging were blindfolded by cotton and pieces of cloth. They were hanging from an iron grill used as a ventilator in the home’s courtyard, investigators added.
The body of the 77-year-old woman was found lying on the floor of the home, according to police.
A surviving family member told The Associated Press he believed his relatives were murdered.
“No father can kill his own son,” Arjun Thukral said. “How would a mother be able to kill her own children? I don't think they committed suicide. These are murders.”
Neighboring residents also disputed that the family — reportedly preparing for a wedding — could have died by suicide.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.