The Kerala Police have arrested two men for allegedly raping and murdering a 32-year-old Latvian tourist near Kovalam last month, IANS reported on Thursday.
The woman’s decomposed body was found on April 20 in a mangrove forest at Panathura near Kovalam, almost a month after she was reported missing. The woman had last been seen hiring an auto rickshaw on March 14. The woman, her partner and her sister were in India to undergo ayurvedic treatment at a facility near Thiruvananthapuram.
The police confirmed on Thursday that she was drugged and raped before being murdered. They identified the accused as Umesh and Udayan, both residents of Panathura. They are habitual offenders who have been involved in cases involving narcotics and assault.
“The woman was lured away by the accused and supplied with narcotics,” Inspector General of Police Manoj Abraham said, adding that they then sexually assaulted her and strangulated her when she resisted. “The probe will continue as we want to find out if there are more people involved in the crime.”
“The accused thought they will be able to give it an impression of suicide if they left the body hanging,” Director General of Police Loknath Behera said, according to NDTV. “We have worked on circumstantial evidence and have made a water-tight case.”