Canacona police on Wednesday arrested a local, 23-year-old Vikat Bhagat, a resident of Bhagatwada, Char rasta, Canacona, on charges of murdering Irish national, Danielle McLaughlin, whose body was found at an isolated spot at Deubaug, Canacona, on Tuesday morning.
Vikas Bhagat is said to be a history-sheeter as he has similar records in previous cases.
CCTV captures Brit backpacker Danielle McLaughlin just hours before she was “raped and murdered in Goa ” What happened to the British backpacker?
The BBC reports McLaughlin’s body is undergoing postmortem to determine if she was sexually assaulted, as police believe this to be the case.
Reports now say Bhagat confessed to her murder and admitted he sexually assaulted her before attempting to disfigure her with a beer bottle. “We are also trying to establish whether the victim was raped or not” he said.
It’s understood the Irishwoman found dead in India was a Donegal woman in her 20s.
Police said Ms McLaughlin had sustained injuries to her face. “I hope God will give the family strength at this tragic time to help them through the weeks and months ahead”, said the Fianna Fail councillor. Police sources said she came down to Canacona on March 12 and stayed at a friend’s place in Agonda.
Tavares told the Guardian on Thursday that a court had granted police permission to hold Bhagat for seven days to complete their investigation. It is understood she grew up with her grandparents and had returned to Buncrana previous year when her grandfather died.
McLaughlin studied in Liverpool, England, and lived there for several years after growing up in the northwest Irish town of Buncrana. Danielle, she concluded, will be sadly missed by us all.
A statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the woman had travelled to India using a British passport.
Danielle McLaughlin’s body was discovered on Tuesday, a mile from the popular tourist resort in Canacona where she was last seen.
One man has been arrested in connection with the murder but it is unclear if he is the key suspect.