herald

Monday 1 May 2017

Murdered backpacker Danielle to make final journey home

Vigil in home town Buncrana
Vigil in home town Buncrana

Murdered backpacker Danielle McLaughlin is set to make her final journey home from India.

The remains of the young woman who was raped and strangled during a trip to Goa have been released by authorities.

It is expected they will be flown back to Ireland tomorrow.

The 28-year-old, from Buncrana, Co Donegal, was murdered while on a backpacking holiday in India, a country she had visited before and which she loved.

Her body was discovered near the holiday hot-spot of Canacona on Tuesday last week.

A local man, Vikat Bhagat (23), confessed to the attack soon after he was arrested by police.

Danielle's body is being brought home with the help of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust which has been working with her family, the Depart- ment of Foreign Affairs and the British Home Office.

Frustrating

The charity's Colin Bell told the Herald that her remains have now been released following a delay.

"She is on her way to Mumbai and should be flying home tomorrow and arriving on Friday," he said.

One of Danielle's closest friends, Nicole Farren, arrived in Goa on Saturday, expecting the body to be released at the weekend.

However, this turned out not to be the case, which was "frustrating", said Mr Bell.

"But in light of the circumstances of her death, procedures has to be followed closely," he said.

Funeral details have yet to be announced but are expected soon.

Police in India have claimed Danielle knew her suspected killer and the pair had exchanged messages on Facebook.

A post-mortem found that she had been raped, battered with a broken bottle and strangled.

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