Irish backpacker found naked and murdered in Goa

Danielle McLaughlin, who has been found dead in a Goa tourist resort. Photo / Twitter
Danielle McLaughlin, who has been found dead in a Goa tourist resort. Photo / Twitter

A murder investigation has been launched after the body of an Irish tourist travelling with a British passport was found naked on an Indian beach.

The woman, who Indian police have named as 28-year-old Danielle McLaughlin, was believed to have been visiting Goa with a friend to celebrate the Indian festival of Holi.

Her body was discovered in near Deobag Beach, a popular tourist area in the south of the Indian state, by a local, the Daily Telegraph reports.

She had suffered extensive injuries to her face.

A number of people have been questioned and one man was arrested.

Suresh Velip, head constable at Goa Police, said a 24-year-old Indian man remains in custody after being arrested on suspicion of murder.

A post-mortem examination is to be carried out which will reportedly determine if sexual assault charges are put to the suspect.

Donaghey said McLaughlin had been studying and living in Liverpool before travelling for a time in Australia.

She was in her home town of Buncrana before setting off to India last month.

On her own Facebook page, dated February 22, McLaughlin posted: "Thank you to all my friends and family for making home so special and always looking after me. I am very grateful and the luckiest person I know ... Off on another adventure ... ".

McLaughlin's mother said she will be "sadly missed".

In a written statement issued by a close friend on behalf of the family in Buncrana, County Donegal, Andrea Brannigan said: "The family would like to express our thanks to all who have got in touch since receiving this awful news.

"As you can expect we are finding it very difficult at this trying time.

"We want to thank the Irish and British consulates, along with Colin from the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, and many friends who have assisted at this time. Danielle will be sadly missed by us all."

Christy Duffy, a close friend of McLaughlin's from Buncrana, has already raised several thousand euro on a fundraising website to help pay for the funeral and repatriation costs.


"There's not really much anyone can say at the moment as I know we are all completely devastated," he said.

"There is nothing I need to say about Danielle as anyone who knew her, knew that she was a beautiful and kind-hearted, funny young lady who loved life and was a loyal and devoted friend, sister and daughter.

"They say the brightest stars burn the quickest and no other analogy could describe Danielle's life better."

Duffy said the Irish Embassy, the British Embassy, the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust and many close friends are working hard on the arrangements to bring McLaughlin's body home.

"The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust have been brilliant and cover most arrangements and expenses, so basically this fundraiser is to help her family with the added costs of having someone with her when she returns and to give her the send-off she deserves," he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin had confirmed it was talking to its embassy in India about the reports.

In 2008, British teenager Scarlett Keeling was found dead on Goa's popular Anjuna Beach.
The 15-year-old drowned after allegedly being plied with drugs.

Two men, Samson D'Souza and Placido Carvalho, were cleared of raping and killing her by an Indian court last year.

Keeling's mother said she her heart sank after hearing of McLaughlin's death in Goa, saying "it just brings it all back".

A beach in Goa, India.
A beach in Goa, India.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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