herald

Friday 19 October 2018

'I prayed we'd find her' - Sister's tribute to Liga as headless body found

Liga Skromane (pictured right with her sister Ilze) disappeared on holiday in India a month ago
Liga Skromane (pictured right with her sister Ilze) disappeared on holiday in India a month ago

The sister of a woman found dead after she went missing in India has paid tribute to her, saying her birthday wish and prayer to find her has come true.

The decapitated body of a female found in the search for Liga Skromane (33) was identified on Saturday by her heartbroken sister Ilze Skromane and Liga's husband Andrew Jordan, from Swords.

Ms Skromane, who was from Latvia but had been living in Dublin for the past five years, was last seen on March 14.

The 33-year-old had travelled to Kerala with her sister Ilze to take part in a wellness retreat on February 4.

According to local media reports, a fisherman found the body of a woman by the riverside in an isolated area near Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, on Friday.

Ilze shared a poignant tribute on Facebook yesterday. She accompanied her words with a childhood photo of the pair and thanked people for all their love and support during the search.

"On April 19 I was praying and praying to God to grant me one birthday wish... please let me know where my sister is, please let us find her, this not knowing is so hard to bear," she wrote.

"On my birthday afternoon, April 20, two local boys found my sister's remains. It's been a long journey for my sister, and she has been through a lot of suffering.

"May her soul rest in peace now in the hands of all-loving God. Our love for you, My Dear Sister, is eternal.

Investigation

"We thank you all dear sisters and brothers for all the love and support you have given us through this journey."

A post-mortem examination will determine the direction of a police investigation into Ms Skromane's death, a city police commissioner confirmed.

A doctor's report is understood to be due soon.

The condition and location of the remains have made Ms Skromane's family suspect murder, but police commissioner P Prakesh said it was too early to arrive at that conclusion.

He only confirmed that a team of doctors, including forensic surgeons, would be conducting a post-mortem examination.

"Only after that can we know more about the nature of the injuries," he said.

According to the Times of India, Ms Skromane's sister requested that the post-mortem examination be conducted by private doctors of her choice, but was told by authorities that such a move would not be legally possible.

The proceedings will be recorded on camera.

On March 14, Ms Skromane left the wellness treatment centre and was last seen chatting to people at Kovalam beach.

Trouble

There had been no confirmed sightings of her since, and she had left her passport and phone in the resort.

Last week, Ilze told the Herald that she thought her younger sister was in trouble.

She said she had suffered from depression and the pair had decided to go abroad for a break.

"She was very depressed and wasn't sleeping," said Ilze.

"We came over to Kerala to take part in a six-week holistic Ayurvedic treatment.

"She had been responding well to the holistic treatments and was really engaging with the services.

"The last time I saw her was just before our 6.30am yoga class.

"She said she had a headache so she was going to walk on the beach instead.

"But she asked me to ask the yoga teacher what time she could do a private session later, so I know she intended to come back to the centre."

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