Sunday 19 August 2018

Sister of missing woman found dead in India 'requested post-mortem to be conducted by private doctors of her choice'

  • Fisherman discovered body of woman by riverside
  • Remains confirmed to be those of missing Liga Skromane (33)
  • Detailed forensic examination will now be carried out
  • Post-mortem will determine direction of police investigation - city police commissioner
  • Liga's sister pays tribute, saying she prayed for a birthday wish to find her sister
Liga Skromane (right) with sister Ilze (left). Background: Kovalam beach Google Maps
Liga Skromane (right) with sister Ilze (left). Background: Kovalam beach Google Maps
Liga Skromane (33)

Denise Calnan and Sasha Brady

The sister of a Latvian woman found dead after she was missing in India for one month has paid tribute, saying her birthday wish and prayer to find her sister has come true.

The body of a female found in the search for Liga Skromane (33) was identified yesterday by her sister Ilze Skromane and husband, Dublin man Andrew Jordan.

Liga, who is originally from Latvia but has been living in Dublin for the past five years, was last seen on March 14.

The 33-year-old had travelled to Kerala, India alongside her sister Ilze to take part in a wellness retreat on February 4.

Liga Skromane (33)
Liga Skromane (33)

According to local media reports, a fisherman discovered the body of a woman by the riverside in an isolated area near Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. Her remains were discovered on Friday on a vacant plot with dense undergrowth.

Liga's sister Ilze Skromane shared a poignant tribute to her sister on Facebook today. She accompanied her words with a childhood photo of the pair and thanked people for all their love and support during their search.

"On 19th of April I was praying and praying to God to grant me one birthday wish.. please let me know where my Sister is, please let us find her, this not knowing is so hard to bare..," she wrote.

"On my birthday 20th of April afternoon two local boys found my Sister's remains.. It's been a long journey for my Sister, and she has been through a lot of suffering.. may her soul rest in peace now in the hands of all loving God..

"Our love for you My Dear Sister is eternal.

"We thank you all Dear Sisters and Brothers for all the love and support you have given us through this journey [sic]."

A post-mortem of the young Latvian woman will now determine the direction of a police investigation, a city police commissioner has said.

The condition and location of Liga's remains have made her kin suspect murder, but city police commissioner P Prakesh said it is too early to arrive at that conclusion.

He confirmed that a team of doctors, including forensic surgeons, would be conducting a post-mortem examination.

"Only after that can we know more about the nature of the injuries," he said.

According to the Times of India, Liga's sister requested the post-mortem to be conducted by private doctors of her choice, but was told by authorities it would not be legally possible. The proceedings will now be recorded on camera.

Disappearance

On March 14, Liga left the treatment centre and was last seen chatting to people at Kovalam beach. There were no confirmed sightings of her since and she left her passport and phone in the resort.

Her husband, Andrew Jordan, from Swords, County Dublin, travelled to India when he heard of Liga's disappearance.

Last week, Ilze told Independent.ie that she thought her younger sister is in trouble.

"Today, Liga is missing for one month. There has been no trace of her and the police have no leads."

She explained that Liga had suffered from depression after a traumatic family experience last year and that the pair had decided to get away for a break.

"She was very depressed and wasn't sleeping so we came over to Kerala to take part in a six-week holistic Ayurvedic treatment. She had been responding well to the holistic treatments and was really engaging with the services.

"The last time I saw her was just before our 6:30am yoga class. She said she had a headache so she was going to walk on the beach instead but she asked me to ask the yoga teacher what time she could do a private session later so I know she intended to come back to the centre."

Ilze added that while Liga didn't take her phone, she did have enough money to get to and from the beach.

"I don't know what has happened to her but I can't stop thinking about it. I think she was taken by somebody or by a group. We started searching for her as soon as she went missing and it was very strange that nobody had seen her once she got to the beach. The beach is really busy and she's a tall, white girl so she would have definitely stood out."

Ilze also said she believed Liga left the beach in a vehicle.

"The only way she could have left and not have been seen is if she left in some form of vehicle. I'm really concerned for her safety.

"My whole family is very worried. I can't leave her until I know what happened to her. Liga's boyfriend Andrew is coming out soon from Dublin to help search for her again.

"It's been so difficult but I'm very thankful to everyone who has shared our appeal looking for Liga online. It's nice to see how many people care in tragic times like this."

  • If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article you can contact the Samaritans for free on 116 123

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