Murder investigation after Irish woman found dead in India

Danielle McLaughlin is from Buncrana in Donegal

Murder investigation after Irish woman found dead in India

Image: Facebook/ Danielle Mc Laughlin

A murder investigation has been opened in India after an Irish woman was found dead.

The body of Danielle McLaughlin, from Buncrana in Donegal, was discovered in the state of Goa.

The 28-year-old was said to have left a party on Palolem Beach - a popular tourist resort - at around 9.30pm local time on Monday.

A local man is said to have come across her body the next morning, and reported it to the police.

A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, and police say they are investigating if Ms McLaughlin was raped.

Officers made the arrest after obtaining CCTV images showing the suspect with Ms McLaughlin in a number of locations.

Inspector Filomeno Costa said: "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 are awaiting a report to ascertain if she was sexually assaulted."

Image: Google Earth

Buncrana parish priest John Walsh said the town had been "stunned" by "the absolute horror of this girl's murder".

He added: "We feel for her mother in particular and her siblings."

While Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said: "The people of Buncrana and Inishowen are united in grief with the McLaughlin family at the loss of their daughter and sister.

"This is a tragic loss and Danielle is in all of our thoughts and prayers.

"On meeting with the family earlier, they had one request and that was that their privacy be respected.

"The McLaughlin family must be given room and come to terms with their loss and they will come forward when they feel it is time."

Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed the Irish embassy in India is following up on the "suspected murder".

It said she travelled to India using a British passport, so the local British consulate have taken the lead in dealing with local authorities.

"The Irish embassy is liaising closely with the British authorities and an Irish consular official is travelling from New Delhi to Goa today," it added.

Image: Facebook/Danielle Mc Laughlin

Inishowen councillor, Rena Donaghey, said the news had devastated the local community.

"We just heard this news late last night and early this morning, and it's horrific.

"Lovely girl...everything to live for, from a lovely family in Buncrana and this is the news that we hear today - it's just devastating".

"(It's) so far away and possibly no friends with her makes it all the worse.

"Buncrana would be a great town and will be very, very supportive and I know that they'll support the family in any and every way that they can.

"And the family will need an awful lot of support in these very difficult days ahead - and in the week and months ahead".

Additional reporting: IRN