Two held for 'raping and murdering' Lithuanian tourist in Kerala

Two held for 'raping and murdering' Lithuanian tourist in Kerala

In a breakthrough in the mysterious death of 33-year-old Lithuanian tourist, Kerala police on Thursday arrested two people for purportedly raping and brutally murdering her.

The highly decomposed and headless body of the woman, who went missing on March 14, was recovered from a mangrove forest at Thiruvallam on April 21.

Briefing reporters, Kerala DGP Loknath Behara said the entire investigation was conducted on the basis of circumstantial evidence and using scientific methods.

"The case was homicide. It was unfortunately brutal. It should not have happened to any woman," Behara said.

Efforts are also on to ascertain if anymore people are directly or indirectly involved in the case, he said.

He also lauded his officers who had cracked the case working 24x7 and said all those connected with the probe would be given the DGP's special award.

Investigating officer, Manoj Abhraham said the accused have been charged under IPC sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and 20(b) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances NDPS Act.

City Police Commisisoner P Prakash also part of the investigations, told PTI that the woman was raped and murdered by the two accused, Umesh and Udayan, who are drug peddlers, on March 14, the day she went missing.

"The accused lured her to the spot saying it was a scenic and beautiful place, made her consume ganja, and then sexually assaulted and strangled her to death," he said.

The motive of the murder was sexual assault, he said. "The accused then tried to make it look like a suicide. They hung her body using a natural creeper. As the decomposition set in, after about 30 days, the head fell off the body, he added. A Special Investigation Team was formed by the police and a massive search launched to trace the woman. They had also announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh for anyone providing information about the missing woman.

The woman had come to Kerala along with her sister for ayurvedic treatment for depression. Meanwhile, the body of the tourist was consigned to flames at the shantikavadam electric crematorium here after rituals were performed by a latin christian priest. Her ashes will be flown by her sister to their native land in the coming days.

Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran was among those who attended the funeral. BJP state president, Kummanam Rajashekaran, said in Kozhikode that the body of the foreign national should be preserved until all the accused are brought before law and the entire investigation process was completed. The BJP had even approached the Kerala Human Rights Commission (KHRC) seeking to stay the cremation. The KHRC wanted the body of the woman to be buried as per the christian belief and not cremated.