Thiruvananthapuram: The Latvian woman who had come to Kerala seeking help for depression was raped before she was murdered, the police said today. Her decomposed body was found -- hung upside down, head severed -- in a forest last month. Two suspects have been arrested. The police say the two men lured her, drugged and sexually assaulted her.
- The Latvian woman had come to Kerala seeking help for depression
- Her decomposed body was found hung upside down, head severed
- Two men lured her, drugged and sexually assaulted her, says police
The woman had arrived in Thiruvananthapuram in February. She was hoping to find solace at one of the ayurvedic centres the state is famous for. A few weeks later, she went to a beach in Kovalam and never returned. According to her sister, who accompanied her to India, she didn't tell her before leaving the centre.
On April 21, the police found a woman's decomposed body near a mangrove forest in Thiruvallam. The woman's sister identified her body and the DNA samples confirmed it.
The suspects, say police sources, are drug peddlers. One of them is a repeat offender who has sexually abused women and men in the past in the same isolated marshy area where the victim's body was found, sources added.
Senior police officials have confirmed to NDTV that "her post-mortem report didn't reveal much because the body was badly decomposed". However, police sources say they have been able to confirm that the accused had the motive of rape and murder.
"It was a blind case. Even with various means of investigation and scientific evidence, we could find that it was rape and murder. The victim was lured into this area, given drugs and sexually assaulted. She was murdered when she resisted," senior police officer Manoj Abraham said.
The arrest comes 10 days after her body was found. "The accused thought they will be able to give it an impression of suicide if they left the body hanging. We have worked on circumstantial evident and have made a water-tight case. The police officers who probed the case will be given a badge of honour," Kerala DGP Loknath Behera said.
The woman's sister, who was earlier upset with the way the investigation was being done, now says the police have done their best. "Senior police officer Manoj Abraham has been in touch with me. I know they are doing their best to investigate and ensure justice. I am satisfied with what they are doing, and don't want to delve into the past," she said.
The woman's funeral was held today in Thiruvananthapuram and there will be a memorial on Sunday. "It will be a tribute to her life," she told NDTV, and added, "My sister loved Kerala and received a lot of love and support. We don't want to leave India with bad memories."