BANTING: The abandoned farm looked like the set of a horror flick with its weather-stained walls and rickety gate.
Nothing much could be sighted beyond the walls and gate due to the thick undergrowth and secondary jungle that has invaded the area.
Just over six years ago, the place which belongs to former lawyer N. Pathmanabhan was a hive of activity with a variety of poultry and dogs in it.
Pathmanabhan, who had a thriving law practice in Banting town, had purchased the place known as Ladang Gadong in Jalan Tanjong Layang, Tanjong Sepat, near here to breed dogs and poultry.
Pathmanabhan’s plans to venture into the breeding business collapsed after he was arrested for the murder of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim in 2010.
Then and now (below): A file picture taken on Sept 20, 2010, shows policemen being stationed at the farm. Today, the farm has been invaded by secondary jungle.
When news first broke, dozens of reporters converged on the farm, camping out for days on end for the latest updates.
The farm was completely sealed off and policemen were stationed there to guard the premises.
Cowherd K. Munusamy, 67, said no one from Pathmanabhan’s family had come to take ownership of the 1.6ha farm.
“Policemen were the last group of people to come here during the investigations into the murders,” he said.
“The place has been locked up since.
“I think it has been abandoned because of what had happened in there,” said Munusamy, who brings his cows to graze near the farm every day.
He said Pathmanabhan had bought the farm in 2009 and started putting up structures as well as employed people to man the place the same year.
Pathmanabhan’s parents, who were well respected in Banting, also left the town almost immediately after the highly publicised case. Their whereabouts are unknown.
The murder case shocked the Indian community in Banting, which had known Pathmanabhan since he was a boy.
One of his schoolmates, who declined to be named, said Pathmanabhan was a very quiet and unassuming person while growing up.
“He never used to join the other boys and rabble rouse from the time he was in primary school right up to secondary school,” said the schoolmate.
He added that even when they were adults, he never saw Pathmanabhan hanging out in the local clubs or pubs even once.
“I last saw him at the Banting Ganesha Temple about two weeks before he was arrested in 2010.
“It is unfortunate that his life has to end this way,” said the schoolmate.