Two held for rape-murder of Latvian woman in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram : Two men were on Thursday arrested on charges of raping and murdering a Latvian tourist who went missing from Kovalam last month, Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra said.

Accused Umesh and Udayan are relatives and were working as unregistered tourist guides, the DGP told the media.

Behra cautioned the media against reporting the woman’s name since she was a rape victim.

“This is an unfortunately brutal crime and should not happen to any person. An innocent woman, for no fault of hers, lost her life… the police investigation team will be rewarded for their good work,” Behra said.

Inspector General of Police Manoj Abraham, who led the probe team, said that the accused will be presented in a court here on Friday for remand.

“The woman was lured away by the accused and supplied with narcotics. She was later sexually assaulted and attacked when she resisted. The probe will continue as we want to find out if there are more people involved in the crime,” said Abraham.

A day earlier, the Latvian’s sister IIzie told the media here that the funeral of the 33-year-old deceased will be performed at the public crematorium here on Thursday and ashes taken to her home country.

She had also met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at his office.

The victim, her partner Andrew and Ilzie had arrived in Kerala for ayurvedic treatment at a facility on Thiruvananthapuram’s outskirts when she went missing on March 14.

The victim was last seen hiring an auto-rickshaw to Kovalam. She was not carrying her passport or mobile phone with her when she went missing. On April 20, her highly decomposed body was found in a marshy area near the famed Kovalam tourist destination. An autopsy pointed to strangulation.

Once murder was confirmed, police questioned several area residents and had taken four of them in custody.

State Bharatiya Janata Party President Kummanem Rajasekheran demanded that the body be buried and not cremated just in case another post-mortem was required.

Published on May 3, 2018 at 14:35 IST


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