The foreigner whose decomposed body was found in a guesthouse in central Delhi’s Paharganj on Thursday has been identified as Laurine, 34, a French national who was on a world tour.
The police said that she was murdered and the needle of suspicion points to Manzoor Ahmed, a 38-year-old man from Srinagar, who was staying in the guesthouse room since March 23. Ahmed, according to the police, has been running a handicrafts shop in Paharganj Market for the last five to six years.
Though Laurine’s post-mortem examination is yet to be conducted, an investigating officer said that she died due to strangulation. Her highly decomposed body was found under the bed in room number 203 of the guesthouse on Thursday afternoon, the officer said.
The police have registered a case of murder and causing disappearance of evidence of offense against Ahmed who they believe has fled to Kashmir.
“The victim’s tongue was protruding, indicating strangulation. The autopsy report will help us to ascertain if there are other injury marks on her body,” said the senior officer.
Laurine had come to India on March 30 on a tourist visa and was staying at Hare Rama guesthouse in Paharganj. Her visa was to expire on April 10.
The French Embassy has been informed and a team has been sent to Srinagar to nab Ahmed. The last location of Ahmed’s cell phone was traced to Haryana, suggesting he fled to Kashmir in a train via Punjab.
GK Pandey, manager of the guesthouse, told the police that he had contacted Ahmed on his mobile when Laurine’s body was recovered from his room. Ahmed claimed innocence and later switched off his phone, the officer said.