Man charged with tourist murder in Goa

Man charged with tourist murder in Goa

A tourist whose naked and battered body was found dumped in a field near a beach in Goa was raped and murdered by a friend, according to police.

Danielle McLaughlin, 28, was attacked by Vikat Bhagat, 24, who confessed to the crime while being interrogated yesterday afternoon, Inspector Uttam Desai said.

The man has been charged with murder.

“He claimed he was totally drunk and does not remember much after the murder,” the inspector added.

McLaughlin, who had dual British and Irish citizenship, was from Buncrana, County Donegal. She had studied at Liverpool John Moores University.

Her body was found by a farmer on Tuesday morning in an isolated area near Palolem beach, in Canacona, on India’s west coast.

Police said Bhagat told them that he had met McLaughlin when she visited Goa last year and she had called him when she returned to Palolem last weekend.

“They had spent most of Monday afternoon drinking at various beachside bars in the area,” The Times reported the police inspector as saying.

McLaughlin was last seen alive by witnesses at a bar on Palolem beach on Monday evening.

She was accompanied by two friends that she had met while travelling, Mr Bhagat, and a couple of his friends.

McLaughlin is understood to have asked Bhagat to take her to Leopard Valley, a nearby nightclub built into a jungle quarry. She was then walked to an isolated area, where he allegedly raped and murdered her.

Goa police records also show that he was booked for a violent assault on a local travel agent, who claimed that Bhagat attacked and threatened to kill him in his shop a month ago.

McLaughlin travelled to India using a British passport. An Irish consular official travelled from Delhi yesterday and services are being provided from both countries.

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