Police recover mutilated body, possibly of Latvian woman

The decomposed body was found hanging from a tree, in a mangrove forest in Vazhamuttom. Image for representation

Police on Friday recovered the body of a woman, with her head severed, near Thiruvallam here leading them to suspect that it could be of a Latvian woman who went missing from Kovalam on March 14.

Police said members of 33-year-old Liga Skromane's family identified the body as hers, based on a preliminary examination, but are awaiting results of the forensic tests.

The decomposed body was found hanging from a tree, in a mangrove forest in Vazhamuttom.

"A confirmation on the identity of the deceased can be made only through a DNA test and other examinations. Since the body is decomposed, we won't be able to have a time frame for these procedures," Jayadev G, DCP (Law and Order), told DH on Saturday.

Liga's husband Andrew Jordan and younger sister Ilze were at Vazhamuttom on Saturday to identify the body.

Ilze said she would wait for the test results but it was likely that the body was her sister's since the clothes found on the body matched Liga’s.

Liga, a Latvia national residing in Ireland, checked into an Ayurvedic healing centre in Pothencode here, with Ilze, in February.

On the morning of March 14, Liga hired an auto rickshaw to the beach town of Kovalam, about 30 km away.

Liga, diagnosed with post-traumatic depression, had left the wellness centre without her phone or passport.

Ilze and Andrew have been travelling to different parts of the state and using social media to trace Liga.

The police search had also moved to the neighbouring states. Earlier this month, divers of the Southern Naval Command led an underwater search operation in Kovalam.

A Rs 1 lakh reward was announced for those who could find her. Andrew has been raising the money on a crowd-funding platform. Liga is reported to have been living in Dublin for five years.

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