Woman who went to India to cure her depression was raped, beheaded and found hanged upside-down in a forest
Latvian tourist Liga Skromane came to Kovalam in Kerala, India, in March seeking treatment for her depression. Her body was found by fishermen on April 20 in a terribly decomposed situation — hung upside down while her severed head was found in the nearby forest.
Skromane, along with her sister, arrived in Thiruvananthapuram in February to seek help for her depression with the help of Ayurvedic medicine that the state is renowned for. According to her sister, a few weeks later, on March 14, she went to a beach in Kovalam and never returned.
Liga Skromane, 33, was found missing for a long time, her sister Ilze Skromane filed a missing person complaint with the Kerala state police. "We came here for a 6-week treatment. Liga is suffering from post-traumatic depression and just when she was showing signs of improvement, this happened. That morning, instead of getting ready for the yoga session at 6.30 am, she went back to bed. She told me that she had a headache and that she wanted to lie down. When I came back by 7.30 am, she had disappeared," Ilze had said reported by The News Minute.
Ilze along with Liga's husband Andrew Jordan together had started a search operation. Ilze and Andrew had declared Rs 1 lakh as a reward, and had been putting up look-out posters in and around the city.
There have been various reports as to the motive for the murder. While some report to be drug pushers attempting to silence their sexual assault, The Week reported that two of the four accused confessed that the murder was caused due to an argument over money. The accused said that Skromane had stayed with them for two days in a bushy area where they exchanged drugs. However, an altercation erupted over the money. According to police reports, the men lured here, drugged her and raped her before beheading her to death.
The body was found on April 21 and her sister identified it along with the DNA reports confirming it.
However, the DNA reports did not reveal anything significant as the body was terribly decomposed. "It was a blind case. Even with various means of investigation and scientific evidence, we could find that it was rape and murder. The victim was lured into this area, given drugs and sexually assaulted. She was murdered when she resisted," senior police officer Manoj Abraham told NDTV.
The woman's sister was initially upset with the way investigation was being done and later acknowledged the effort done by the investigators to ensure justice. "The police has been in touch with me. I know they are doing their best to investigate and ensure justice. I am satisfied with what they are doing and don't want to delve into the past" she said.
The funeral for Liga was held on Thursday and there will be a memorial on Sunday.