Belfast Telegraph

Body of Donegal woman murdered in India flown back to Ireland

By Michael McHugh

The body of a woman who was raped and murdered at a tourist resort in India has been flown home to Ireland.

Danielle McLaughlin will undergo a further post-mortem examination in Ireland after an autopsy in India showed she had suffered cerebral damage and constriction to the neck.

The second post-mortem is set to take place in Dublin at the request of Ms McLaughlin's family, who want more information on how she died.

The 28-year-old, from Buncrana, Co Donegal, was found dead in a secluded spot in Canacona, a popular area for holidaymakers in Goa on March 14.

The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust organised for her body to be returned home.

A spokesman said her remains would not return to Buncrana until next week due to the second post-mortem.

Local media reported that the former Liverpool John Moores University student was discovered unclothed and had marks on her head and face.

Indian police said a farmer found Ms McLaughlin's body.

She had travelled to India in February on a British passport with an Australian female friend, and the pair were staying in a beach hut.

They had been celebrating Holi - a Hindu spring festival - in a nearby village.

She left the village late at night and her body was found the next day, police said.

The 24-year-old accused of her killing, whose name has been reported as Vikat Bhagat, appeared in court last week charged with murder, and will also face rape charges.

An officer involved with the investigation told the BBC police believed they had caught the "main culprit", and that he had confessed to the killing.

The Co Donegal community was left in shock at the news of her death, and local man Christy Duffy launched a GoFundMe campaign to help with her repatriation and funeral expenses.

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