British woman’s family suspect more than one person behind her killing | india-news | Hindustan Times
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British woman’s family suspect more than one person behind her killing

The family members of 28-year-old British woman Danielle McLaughlin, who was found dead on a south Goa beach last week, suspect the roles of more than one person in killing her, says the lawyer representing the victim’s family.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2017 19:20 IST
PTI
A general view of the location where the body of Danielle McLaughlin was found in Canacona, some 60 km south of Panaji.
A general view of the location where the body of Danielle McLaughlin was found in Canacona, some 60 km south of Panaji.(AFP File)

The family members of 28-year-old British woman Danielle McLaughlin, who was found dead on a south Goa beach last week, suspect the roles of more than one person in killing her, says the lawyer representing the victim’s family.

Sammy Tavares, deputy superintendent of police in Canacona, however, maintained that it was a “handiwork of a single person”, ruling out the role of a gang behind the crime.

Danielle McLaughlin was found dead on March 14 at an isolated stretch between Agonda and Canacona beaches.

Police arrested a man named Vikas Bhagatm, 23, in connection with the case.

“The family members of Danielle say she was a strong girl and would have been able to defend herself from any attack by a single person,” Vikram Varma, the lawyer representing the family of the British woman told PTI.

“The preliminary theory of the police is based on a confession and needs to be substantiated with forensic evidence,” he said.

“As the police has not concluded its probe, I would not rule out the possibility of more persons being involved in the crime,” said Varma, who was also assisting Fiona Mackowen, the mother of Scarlett Keeling, another British girl who was found dead in Goa in 2008.

“Petty criminals often work in gangs and do have substantial skills in misleading people as well as the police. I do hope they do not succeed in this case,” he said.

Tavares, meanwhile, said, “The police is conducting a thorough investigation in the case. It is a handiwork of a single person. There is no possibility of a gang doing it. We have gathered enough evidence.”

Artifacts placed by mourners at the location where the body of Danielle McLaughlin was found in Canacona. (AFP)

The officer said the pieces of evidence, collected by the police, will ensure conviction of the accused in this case.

In a related development, the police has issued a no-objection certificate to the British embassy to fly Danielle’s body to her native place.

“They are yet to fly the body back to the native place. The formalities are going on to do so,” Tavares said.

The autopsy, conducted by a panel of doctors from Goa Medical College and Hospital, confirmed that Danielle was strangulated to death.

The forensic examination had also confirmed that she was sexually abused before she was murdered.