Scots-born tourist murdered in popular Indian tourist resort

The suspected murder of an Scots-born woman at a coastal resort in Goa has horrified her home town in Ireland, the local parish priest has said.

Danielle McLaughlin was discovered dead in Canacona, a popular tourist area in the south of Goa (Photo: PA wire)
Danielle McLaughlin was discovered dead in Canacona, a popular tourist area in the south of Goa (Photo: PA wire)
Danielle McLaughlin was discovered dead in Canacona, a popular tourist area in the south of Goa (Photo: PA wire)

A scots-born woman has been murdered at a coastal resort in Goa.

Danielle McLaughlin, who was aged in her 20s, was discovered dead in Canacona, a popular tourist area in the south of the Indian state.

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Local media said her body was unclothed and she had marks on her head and face. A number of people have been questioned and one man was arrested.

A post-mortem examination is to be carried out. It will reportedly determine what charges are put to the suspect.

Suresh Velip, head constable at Goa Police, said a 24-year-old Indian man remains in custody after being arrested on suspicion of murder.

Asked about details around the case, he told the Press Association: “It is still under investigation.”

Mr Velip said Ms McLaughlin’s body was found in a remote area near Deobagh Beach in Canacona on Tuesday morning.

The police man said a post-mortem examination had been carried out, but he declined to disclose any details of the findings.

The suspect is expected to appear in court in Canacona at some stage.

According to her passport Ms McLaughlin was born in Glasgow. She was raised in Buncrana, Co Donegal, and had also been living in Liverpool.

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It is understood she grew up with her grandparents and had returned to Buncrana last year when her grandfather died.

Fr John Walsh, parish priest, said the woman’s mother had suffered a number of bereavements.

“The absolute horror of this girl’s murder has stunned the community,” he said.

“We feel for her mother in particular and her siblings.”


Rena Donaghey, a Buncrana councillor who knows Ms McLaughlin’s mother and family, described their grief as unthinkable.

“This has come as a great shock,” she said.

“A young girl, an independent woman, heading off to do what young girls and fellas do these days.

“It is unthinkable what happened to her.

“And for her mother, being so far away from home, it makes it all the more difficult.

“All our thoughts and prayers are with the family, that they can get through this difficult time.”

Ms Donaghey said Ms McLaughlin had been studying and living in Liverpool before travelling for a time in Australia.

She was in Buncrana before setting off to India last month.

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On her own Facebook page, dated February 22, Ms McLaughlin posted: “Thank you to all my friends and family for making home so special and always looking after me. I am very grateful and the luckiest person I know...Off on another adventure... “

Dozens of people posted tributes on the social media website.

One said: “Sleep peacefully Danielle, my thoughts are with your family and loved ones. The horrors you have suffered are over x x x”

Another wrote: “Love you Danielle, you had the most beautiful soul.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin said Ms McLaughlin was travelling to India under a British passport.

“It has been confirmed that the woman travelled to India using a British passport, so the local British consulate have the lead responsibility in terms of dealings with the Indian authorities,” a spokesman said.

“The Irish Embassy is liaising closely with the British authorities and an Irish consular official is travelling from New Delhi to Goa.”

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In 2008, British teenager Scarlett Keeling was found dead on Goa’s popular Anjuna beach.

The 15-year-old 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.