Monday 29 May 2017

Family hoping to bring Irish backpacker Danielle McLaughlin home to Donegal this weekend

  • Family prepare to bring remains of Danielle McLaughlin (28) home
  • Irish Embassy and Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust working with Danielle's family
  • Man to be charged with rape, robbery and murder
  • Police find tablet, but search for belongings

Left: Danielle McLaughlin was murdered at Indian tourist destination. Right: Vigil held in memory of victim
Left: Danielle McLaughlin was murdered at Indian tourist destination. Right: Vigil held in memory of victim
Danielle McLaughlin, far left
Locals and expats gather for vigil after death of Danielle McLaughlin
Locals and expats gather for vigil after death of Danielle McLaughlin
Locals and expats gather for vigil after death of Danielle McLaughlin
Backpacker Danielle McLaughlin who was murdered in Goa
Tragic murder victim Danielle McLaughlin. Photo: PA
Danielle McLaughlin was a lover of travelling and has been described as an "outgoing, kind-hearted" person by friends

Amy Molloy and Cathal McMahon

Police in India are still searching for the belongings of murdered Irish woman Danielle McLaughlin, as friends and family prepare to bring her remains back to Donegal.

Her passport and mobile have yet to be located but police have found a tablet she was carrying at the time.

Thousands of euro has been raised to help bring her body back to Buncrana.

Suspect Vikat Bhagat (23) will now be charged with rape, after the results of a post-mortem examination showed the young woman had been sexually assaulted.

Mr Bhagat has already been held on remand on a murder charge, having appeared in court on Wednesday.

He will also be charged with robbery.

Locals and expats gather for vigil after death of Danielle McLaughlin
Locals and expats gather for vigil after death of Danielle McLaughlin

Local reports in India say Mr Bhagat told police there were other people present when he killed Ms McLaughlin and officers are now searching for more suspects.

The Irish Embassy, together with the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, are now working with her family to try bring her remains home this weekend.

Tragic murder victim Danielle McLaughlin. Photo: PA
Tragic murder victim Danielle McLaughlin. Photo: PA

CCTV footage was released on Thursday which showed what is believed to be her last moments alive.

She can be seen walking along the street, apparently with Mr Bhagat walking behind her.

Her death has shocked her local community in Donegal, while expats, backpackers and locals gathered at the scene of the brutal murder for a solemn ceremony on Wednesday.

The crowd of around 100 people paid tribute to the young woman.

The ceremony concluded with a chilling rendition of Bob Marley's 'No Woman No Cry'.

Ms McLaughlin had travelled to Goa with a friend and they were attending the Hindu spring festival of Holi on Monday night in a nearby village.

Her body was discovered the next day, less than 2km from Palolem, one of the most popular beaches in south Goa.

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