Home > World News > Mum of murdered teenager Scarlett Keeling says news of Goa killing has ‘brought back’ nightmare of daughter’s death

Mum of murdered teenager Scarlett Keeling says news of Goa killing has ‘brought back’ nightmare of daughter’s death

The mother of murdered British teenager Scarlett Keeling said news of the horrific attack in Goa has “brought it all back”.

In 2008, 15-year-old Scarlett was found dead on the country’s popular Anjuna beach.

She had been drowned after allegedly being plied with drugs.

Two men, Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho, were cleared of raping and killing her by an Indian court last year.

Miss Keeling’s mother said she her heart sank after hearing of the killing in Goa.

Danielle McLaughlin, 28, from Ireland, was discovered in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Scarlett’s mum Fiona MacKeown said: “It is horrific. My heart breaks for her family and friends. I know what they are going through.

“It really makes my heart sink. I just feel so sad for her mum, siblings and friends.”

Ms MacKeown said that she found dealing with the Goan police while grieving for her daughter was “frustrating” and like “banging your head against a brick wall”.

She said she hoped Ms McLaughlin’s family would not have to face a similar trauma.

“It is a possibility [that the family will have to deal with frustrations] but it is early days yet in the investigation and I hope it works out well,” she said.

Scarlett Keeling was on a six-month family holiday in 2008 when tragedy struck
Scarlett’s semi-naked body was found lying face down in the waves (Photo: PA)
Fiona MacKeown said she was 'devastated' by the verdict last year
Fiona MacKeown said she was ‘devastated’ by the verdict last year (Photo: Getty Images)

Murder detectives launched an investigation after a local resident discovered Danielle’s naked body in a field near Deobag Beach.

The experienced traveller had suffered extensive injuries to her face and body after being beaten, and was found several miles from a beach where she attended a party the night before, police revealed.

A police source told local media that Ms McLaughlin was seen with her alleged killer at a beach shack the night she was killed.

Danielle was travelling with a British passport (Photo: Caters News Agency)
People who knew her said she was seen dancing with her Indian friends at the hotel during Holi celebrations (Photo: Caters News Agency)

It was believed Ms McLaughlin arrived in the region on Sunday, was staying in the village of Arambol and attended a celebration on Palolem beach on Monday night after checking into the Dreamcatcher resort.

The following morning a farmer found her body in an isolated area in a field off a road leading to the village of Agonda, more than three miles away from Palolem beach.

She had been living in Liverpool before moving back to her hometown of Buncrana, Co Donegal, Ireland, where family and friends were left devastated after being told of her death. She was travelling with a British passport.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Sammy Tavares told reporters that a man named as Vikat Bhagat was arrested and has confessed to raping and later killing the holidaymaker in a bid to hide his identity.

Bhagat, from Canacona, was booked on a charge of murder after police questioned more than a dozen people.

One of Ms McLaughlin’s friends, who works in the accommodation business, told the Herald that she travelled from Arambol to Canacona on Sunday, and was staying with a friend who lives on the road leading to Agonda.

Vikat Bhagat is being held in custody after police say he admitted killing the tourist
(Photo: India Today)

She told the friend she was staying with that she was going to see a few Indian friends who she had met during a trip to Goa last year.

Those friends were supposed to find her a place to stay at Palolem beach, the friend added.

Ms McLaughlin had reportedly left her friend’s home at around 2pm on Monday and later told him that she had checked into a hotel in Palolem with a room overlooking the Arabian Sea.

People who knew her said she was seen dancing with her Indian friends at the hotel during Holi celebrations.

The Times of India reported that police are looking for three more people in connection with the murder.

It said police sources reported that Ms McLaughlin was last seen with Bhagat, her alleged killer, at a shack located some distance from where her body was found.

(Photo: Aman Gupt/Flickr)
(Photo: Caters News Agency)

Police Inspector Filomeno Costa told reporters: “A local named Prashant Komarpant alerted us after he noticed the body while he was on his way to the fields around 7am on Tuesday morning.

“The body had bruises and her face was badly smashed.

“Looking at the injuries we concluded that that it was a case of murder.

“We sent her body to Goa Medical College for autopsy and awaiting report to ascertain if she was sexually assaulted.”

The inspector added: “We are also speaking with the hotels where she had stayed to find out if she was with her friends or holidaying alone.”

Mr Tavares told reporters that the victim was found without clothes in a pool of blood.

Detectives are also studying CCTV footage from all the shacks the victim visited on Monday night, and are working with teams of sniffer dogs and forensic teams.

While the police found the woman’s clothes, they are yet to locate the murder weapon.