Monika Ghurde, a 39-year-old globe-trotting Indian perfumer, was found dead at her apartment close to Goa’s famous Calangute beach in a suspected case of rape and murder, police said on Friday.
Police inspector of Porvorim, JG Dalvi, said the woman’s body was found on Thursday night without clothes and her hands and legs tied to a bed in her three-bedroom apartment in Sangolda village, about 10 km from capital Panaji.
Ghurde was famous for her obsession with the scent of jasmine, which resulted in a collaborative work with author William Dalrymple to trace the history of the flower since ancient times.
Ghurde was a successful photographer and graphic designer before she founded Mo Labs through which she conducted ‘smell’ workshops around the world. She was also researching on the effects of perfumes on human consciousness.
Ghurde, a well-known name in social circles, lived alone while her husband stayed in another house nearby.
The incident came to light when neighbours were alerted by Ghurde’s maid, who did not get any response after ringing the bell several times. One of Ghurde’s neighbours opened the house using a spare key she had left with him.
Investigating officer Rajesh Kumar said marks on her neck indicate that she might have been strangled.
“The house is burgled but we can’t ascertain what things are stolen from the flat as she was living alone,” Kumar said. She had shifted to the apartment in July.
The building’s watchman was quizzed but could not provide any information about anyone entering her flat, he said.
Goa director general of police Muktesh Chander said several teams have been formed to solve the case.
“A few people have been questioned by the police,” he said adding, investigators were also checking CCTV footage.
(With agency inputs)