An autopsy report released on Saturday said that photographer-turned-perfumer Monika Ghurde died of suffocation. However, the team of pathologists of Goa Medical College have reserved their opinion on whether the victim was sexually assaulted before her death.
The post-morterm report comes two days after 39-year-old Ghurde was found dead at her rented apartment at Sangolda village in north Goa. “Primarily, compression of mouth and neck led to Monika’s death. As far as the possibility of sexual assault is concerned, the pathology team has informed that they want to perform a serological examination before concluding their findings,” a senior police officer said.
Describing the scene of crime, the police officials had said that the body was disrobed and the hands tied to the bed. Based on the fact that the victim’s face had turned red, police officers suspect that Monika was smothered to death by a pillow or some other household item.
Police officials told The Indian Express that a team has been sent outside the state to pursue the matter. “Given the easy entry that the perpetrator got into the house, it seems like the suspect was known to the victim. We are exploring all angles. We have strong leads and the investigation is proceeding in the right direction,” SP Umesh Gaonkar said.
Monika had been living in Goa since 2011 with Bharath Ramamrutham, whom she married in 2004. The couple had no children. A year ago, they separated by mutual consent.