Irish woman discovered murdered in India 'on backpacking adventure'

Donegal victim was discovered with injuries to her head and face

Palolem Beach, Canacona. Picture: Google Maps

Alan O'Keeffe and Cathal McMahon

An Irish woman discovered murdered in an India tourist spot left Co Donegal in February to go on a worldwide backpacking adventure.

Sammy Tavares of the Goa police said the woman was discovered with injuries to her head and face.

The victim (28) is believed to be from Buncrana, was found in Canacona near Goa.

She was discovered with injuries to her head and face.

He told reporters that the body was sent to the Goa Medical College and hospital to establish if the victim was raped before the attack.

Police sources told the Times of India that a local farmer noticed the body while he was on his way to the fields, in a woodland spot - 300m from a road.

According to IANS the victim had arrived in the Palolem beach area on Sunday evening to participate in Holi celebrations before being found dead on Tuesday.

Supt Tavares told reporters that they had arrested a suspect: "He has confessed to raping the victim and later killing her in order to hide his identity.'

"We are investigating people with whom she was playing Holi during a party here. Her friend has also given us some leads and we are questioning some suspects,” a police officer told IANS.

Six "suspects" have been questioned by police in relation to the killing and reports say that one man is due to be brought before a court today.

Sources have told that the victim is originally from Buncrana, Co Donegal. She left Ireland in February to go "backpacking around the world".

Local councillor Rena Donaghey (FF) said: "The whole community and the town of Buncrana is in deep shock today.  Everyone is very saddened by the news.

"She was a lovely young woman who has come to a very sad end.

"She was very popular and very liked in the community.  She headed off on a backpacking holiday in February to do some travelling.

"On behalf of the community, I would like to offer sympathy and condolences. I hope God will give the family strength at this tragic time to help them through the weeks and months ahead," said the Fianna Fail councillor.

The popular woman grew up in Buncrana, attending the local Scoil Mhuire secondary school. She studied at university in Liverpool and reports say she held a British passport.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs told "The Irish embassy in Delhi is in contact with the Indian authorities in relation to reports of an incident involving an Irish citizen. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade stands ready to provide consular assistance."

Scarlett Keeling was murdered on a Goa beach

In 2008, a British teenager Scarlett Keeling (above) was raped and left to die at Anjuna beach in Goa.