A 22-year-old British woman, Sarah Elizabeth, was murdered by a Dutch tourist staying in the same houseboat on Dal Lake on Saturday morning.
De-wit Richard, 43, broke into the victim’s room in the early hours and stabbed her to death. He tried to flee the Valley but was arrested at Qazigund, about 80km from Srinagar.
The police said Richard has confessed to the crime and claimed he is “mentally sick”. Inspector general of police AG Mir said, “The accused seems mentally unstable but this needs to be confirmed.”
Irrespective of Richard’s admission, the police are trying to establish the motive of the murder. “There were injury marks caused by a sharp weapon on her private parts, but rape can be confirmed only after a forensic examination,” Mir said.
Abdul Rahman Shoda, the houseboat’s owner, said he had suspected Richard to be of bad character but let him stay after he promised good conduct.
On Saturday, Shoda’s wife woke up at 3.30am for the morning prayers and found one of their shikaras missing. The couple found Richard missing, too, and Elizabeth lying in a pool of blood in her room. Shoda then alerted the police, who arrested Richard with the help of the taxi driver he had hired.