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 analysed.
“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.”