Irish woman murder : Goa police arrest 23-year-old local man

Margao/Canacona, Mar 16 (TOI) : 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.

Police are also interrogating three more persons, to verify their role in the crime.

Bhagat, police sources informed, is a history-sheeter. He, along with three other locals, were seen with the Irish woman at a shack located at Colomb, not very far from where her body was found.

Bhagat, police sources informed, has admitted to having raped the Irish woman after taking her to the isolated spot late Monday night. He then killed her using a broken beer bottle so as to silence her, in the belief that the killer's identity wouldn't be revealed.

Her body was found in a nude condition the next day, with injury marks on her head and face. TOI has photographs of McLaughlin but has chosen not to publish them yet.

"Seven injury marks were observed on different parts of her body, including her head and face, suggesting a scuffle between the deceased and the accused," Dy SP Sammy Tavares told TOI.

Police are awaiting the postmortem report, which will be conducted by a panel of doctors at the Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim, before charging Bhagat with raping the Irish woman.

Police have requested the GMC authorities to preserve her nail clippings and other forensic material for DNA profiling.

SP (North) who is holding charge of SP (South) Karthik Kashyap said the accused has confessed to the crime.

Sources informed that the shack is very popular among foreign as well as domestic tourists.
On Monday, Holi celebrations were organized at the place, and the Mclaughlin was among those who attended the party along with her friends. CCTV footages obtained by the police reveal that Bhagat and three of his friends were also seen alongwith her at the shack, based on which the police arrested Bhagat.

Sources informed that the deceased had visited Goa last year as well and that she may have befriended some locals then. She had known Bhagat as well since her last visit to the state, sources informed. During her current Goa visit, she was staying at Arambol, in North Goa, since February 23.

Police sources informed that she came down to Canacona on March 12 and stayed at a friend's place in Agonda. On Monday, she proceeded to Palolem at around 1 pm. Thereafter she was seen with the accused at a shack in Overem, Palolem, till around 9.30 pm, as revealed in the CCTV footage obtained by the Canacona police.

"During the course of our investigations, we learnt that Bhagat was seen moving with a foreigner, and so we zeroed in on him. Meanwhile, the CCTV footage obtained from the shack confirmed our suspicions, and we arrested him," Dy SP Sammy Tavares, who is supervising the investigations, told.

The clothes which the deceased was wearing were found packed in a bag near Bhagat's house, police sources informed. The scooter belonging to the accused has also been attached by the police. The British passport belonging to the deceased has also been attached by the police.

Reports say McLaughlin is originally from Buncrana, Co Donegal. She left Ireland in February to go "backpacking around the world". She spent her childhood in Buncrana, attending the local Scoil Mhuire secondary school, and later studied at a university in Liverpool.

A bar that she worked at in Liverpool, The Pumphouse in Albert Dock, posted a tribute to her on Facebook. "Very sad to hear we have lost one of our old team members Danielle McLaughlin in Goa this week. She was only 28. Goodbye Danielle. Deepest condolences to her family in Ireland," reads the post.

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Comment on this article

  • Cynthia, Moodbidri

    Fri, Mar 17 2017

    I don't get why these westerners come down to India . There are so many beautiful places just in Europe. Lots of cautions given in the website for the Europeans visiting Indian. Are they attracted to Hinduism / holly etc ,then this is the fate. Our Indians who migrated to European countries hardly visit their native place.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Annoyed Gangollian, Gangolli/London

    Fri, Mar 17 2017

    We Indians are bestowed with a GIFT which we all have taken for granted. We don't appreciate it while the westerners pray for it day and night but don't get it. it is called SUNSHINE. Believe me. After moving from Gangolli in Kundapura Taluk to London, I have realised its importance. We see sun shining for may be 20-15 days in a year and that too with difficulty.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • shaf, mangalore

    Fri, Mar 17 2017

    RIP for a great human ..

    Let justice prevail in our country for a departed soul and the pack of ambition the soul had.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kevin, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    Foreign women tourists visiting India, especially western women, should be warned about cultural differences. The relations between the sexes is very different in India compared to the West. Indian men misunderstand casual friendliness of western women.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rajesh, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    Inhuman Scoundrel.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Praveen s, Permannur

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    What a surprise in bjp rule state also rape and murder happening...where is baba ramdev...and others... Now no protest....oh...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ershad Bolar, Mangaluru/ Dubai

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    RIP.. now here also blame Siddaramiah...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • G R PRABHUJI, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    Before INDEPENDENE of GOA these things were not there.

    DisAgree Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    Women Beating, Molesting & Rape is the only Development ...

    DisAgree [9] Agree [59] Reply Report Abuse

  • shah, mangalore

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    Acche din!

    DisAgree [13] Agree [45] Reply Report Abuse

  • Emi Varghese UK, Brighton

    Thu, Mar 16 2017



    DisAgree [23] Agree [68] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kiran Shetty, Sullia

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    Zooming CCTV will not make any sense ,peoples mind set and harsher punishment is requirement of time .If Police do good work also this criminals get bail with in 2-3 days .How dreaded criminals roaming freely ,bcoz of this useless laws.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • shan, dubai

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    Good Idea..... They have to put zoom TV camera in Government offices, vidana sauda also. But they will not do it ...... These cameras will record their activities..... taking corruption in Government offices, Sleeping or watching bad films in vidana sauda....or MLP/MP or their children will be caught in camera doing bad activities in Goa beach.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Thomas Cutinho, Dubai/Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    The phrase "Atithi Devo Bhava" only remains in the scriptures because of our selfish attitude. The culprits should be punished severely.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [41] Reply Report Abuse

  • G M Hegde, Udupi

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    There are bad people and bad places in every country. Unfortunately, people rake things for granted when in foriegn land whereas locals would know what to keep out from.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • anh, udupi

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    There is no bad place or bad country. People or politicians make it bad sometimes even worse ...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    We know these Women Beaters, Molesters, Rapists & Murderers ...

    DisAgree Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Elangovan, Rameswaram

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    Goa is a good place, sun sand & beaches. lastly drinks...

    DisAgree [17] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Devi, Managalore

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    We Indians have to give respect to our visitors from other countries. there is saying that "Athiti Devo Bhava" in India. when people visit India we have to treat them as "Athiti" rather than an enemy.
    We should make them feel comfortable, and they should enjoy the scenic beauty of India, People of India needs to be careful when we treat them.
    When we Indians visit Abroad we always expect respect, comfortableness, freeness, independence, love, and peace etc. we expect so many things from them, then we should also learn to give all the above to them.
    At least from now onwards no foreigner feel unsafe in India. we will take a promise to help them all. Jai Hind.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rao, Udupi

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    We should bow our heads in shame when we hear these type of incidents.
    Girls, kids may be foreigner, may be our our own are not safe in our places.
    So many repeated shameful incidents take place throughout our country year after year, but things do not improve. Whom to hold responsible? People? Government?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [60] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph Rego, Kinnigoli/Ras Al Khaimah

    Thu, Mar 16 2017

    Those culprits of this should be hanged. We should respect and take care of the foreign visitors. Because of some uncivilized people our country should not put on shame. Please take this matter seriously and punish the culprit without any delay.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [71] Reply Report Abuse

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