A decomposed body, suspected to be that of a missing Latvian woman, was found with her head separated at Thiruvallam near Thiruvananthapuram. Liga Skromane, 33, has gone missing from an ayurvedic centre in Thiruvananthapuram rural district since March 14, where she has been undergoing treatment.
On Saturday, her elder sister IIze Skromane identified the body, which was found trapped among shrubs at a riverside on Friday. The head was found half a meter away from the body.
Thiruvananthapuram city police commissioner P Prakash said prima facie the body appears to be that of Liga, but added that police would go for scientific methods to ascertain that the body was that of the missing woman.
“Senior Skromane today identified the body. But, police would go for scientific methods including DNA to ensure that the body is that of the missing woman. The body was sent for postmortem after an inquest,’’ said the commissioner.
The commissioner said police have now registered a case for unnatural death. “Only after getting the forensic report, we can ascertain the cause of death. At present, I won’t say the woman was murdered. That the head was found separated from the body does not mean the woman was beheaded. The body is in a highly decomposed state and looks a month old. Also, only a forensic report would indicate whether there was any sexual assault on the woman,’’ said the commissioner.
After identifying the body, IIze said, “It is a murder. We didn’t get justice from police.’’ According to police, the sisters have reached Kochi on February 2 and moved to the ayurvedic centre at Pothenkodu near Thiruvananthapuram for treatment. Liga has been reportedly depressed over her skin disease, for which she has been under treatment.
On March 14, Liga went out for a walk outside the ayurvedic centre and later boarded an auto rickshaw from Pothenkodu junction. She was dropped at Kovalam beach as per her request. None has seen her since then. The woman was then reportedly possessing about Rs 1000. But, she hadn’t taken her passport or any other documents. As police remained clueless about missing Liga, her elder sister Ilze had tweeted to Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on March 22, “please help, we are heart-broken and worried.’’ She had then declared a reward of Rs 1 lakh to anyone who can provide lead about Liga.
For last one month, IIze and Liga’s friend Alex have been touring various parts of Kerala desperately trying to track down Liga. She had started a hashtag “missing in Kerala’’ on Facebook. IIze had also posted notices in many places, with the photo of her missing sister.
On April 18, she wrote on her Facebook page, “today was our flight home.. but I’m staying, it’s impossible even to imagine to get on flight without my sister… There in no other sound left, but the sound of ticking thoughts. With closed eyes I see the moment I’ll hug you once again, Hope and faith, wings that carry us through the time between now and then, Whispering voice keeps reminding, it’s yet another passing state, Flow of change is not up for debate, It’s reality, life that we all know, But some sadness seems permanent, will it ever go? Today I feel like crying.. What to do..What has happened to you.’’
Thulasidas, owner of the ayurvedic center, where the sisters had stayed, said the sisters have been running a beauty shop in Ireland. “Liga was worried about her skin disease. Her depression stemmed from that worry about the disease. A few days after checking into the centre for treatment, she has developed bonhomie with everyone here. We all had gone in search of her in the city and premises,’’ said Thulasidas.