Police say that the suspect -- who was staying in a separate room on the boat -- forced himself into the woman's room last night and assaulted her. The door of the room in which she was staying was found broken.
"The Dutch national had fled from the houseboat in the night, leaving behind his belongings. He was trying to flee from the Valley, carrying only his passport. We flashed an alert for his arrest," said Abdul Ghani Mir, the Inspector General of Kashmir.
Police suspect that the 23-year-old woman might have been raped before being killed.
Hafeeza, the owner of the houseboat, said the woman had been residing on the boat for the past two months and was "like her daughter". She said the suspect arrived two days ago and alleges that he stalked the British national.
A case of murder has been registered and a team of forensic experts has been roped in to help with the investigations.