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A coroner's inquest into the death of 57-year-old Xavier Malayil, allegedly stabbed to death in February by his friend and former co-worker Joyel Joseph, has revealed more details of the murder, that has left the police in Downer's Grove, Illinois, confused.
For the first time, police confirmed that Malayil's two roommates were in the apartment when the killing took place. One of them locked himself in the bathroom when Joseph, a fugitive since the night of the murder, became momentarily distracted. The other used the opportunity and fled to a neighbor's residence, from where he dialed 911.
The coroner's jury, held this week, ruled Malayil's death a homicide. But the chief suspect is still on the run.
Joseph, 33, has been on lam for two months with his sister, Joice. The two fled Chicago on the night of Malayil's death. Although the authorities believe they have not fled the country, efforts by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law-enforcement agencies to locate them have failed.
At the inquest, police admitted they are still at a loss as to a motive. However, they noted that Malayil and Joseph had been drinking on the night of the murder. A toxicology report entered into evidence revealed that the victim had a blood alcohol level four times the limit of state recognized intoxication.
Joseph and Malayil, natives of Kerala, had been in the United States for some time. They worked together for many years at Versatile Card Technology Inc, a manufacturer of plastic cards, until Malayil was fired in 1999 for fighting with a supervisor.
Joseph, who immigrated four years ago, has a large extended family in the United States. His three brothers and five sisters live in nearby Downer's Grove. Malayil also has sisters and a mother who live in the area. About a thousand of Downer's Grove's 50,000 residents are Indian.
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