The 28-year-old British woman, who was found dead near a beach in South Goa on Tuesday, was raped before she was murdered, a police officer said on Thursday, citing her postmortem report. The autopsy confirmed the woman was throttled after she was sexually assaulted. The woman’s disrobed body was found at an isolated spot near a beach in Devbag.
The police said that the accused, Vikas Bhagat, had allegedly smashed her face apparently to conceal her identity. “The cause of death was compression of neck and cerebral damage after she was hit on the head with a beer bottle. The autopsy has confirmed that she was raped before murder,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (Canacona) Sammy Tavares told PTI.
He said that the woman had had a scuffle with Bhagat, a local history-sheeter who was arrested on Wednesday, before the murder.
Another police officer said that Bhagat, who has “confessed to the crime”, hit the woman on the head with a beer bottle. “Police have traced a bag filled with clothes of the deceased, which was found dumped in an open space in Canacona after the murder. We have also found the broken beer bottle, which was reportedly used to kill her, from the bag.’’
Bhagat has been booked for rape, robbery and destroying evidence. “To strengthen the case, we needed the forensic experts to confirm the sexual assault,’’ said a top police officer.
The police tracked Bhagat after a tourist identified the victim. They then tracked the bars they had visited, where footage confirmed the accused had been with the victim, who had been holidaying in Goa since February 23. She was seen playing Holi in Canacona hours before her body was found.