Mother of Irish woman found dead near Goa beach reveals heartbreak

The mother of a 28-year-old Irish woman who was found dead near a beach in Goa has spoken of her heartbreak.

Danielle McLaughlin was found naked near Deobagh beach in Canacona, an Indian city popular with tourists, police said.

The former Liverpool John Moores University student had marks on her head and face, according to local media.

Her mother Andrea Brannigan, whose father and husband recently died, said her daughter would be "sadly missed".

"The family would like to express our thanks to all who have got in touch since receiving this awful news," she said in a statement.

"As you can expect we are finding it very difficult at this trying time.

"We want to thank the Irish and British consulates, along with Colin from the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, and many friends who have assisted at this time.

"Danielle will be sadly missed by us all."

A man has confessed to killing Ms McLaughlin, but denies sexually assaulting her, deputy superintendent Sammy Taveras said.

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

Police opened a murder investigation after her body was found on Tuesday morning by a local man.

Inspector Filomeno Costa said: "The body had bruises and her face was badly smashed. 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."

Pictures from the scene show police officers standing by a body on a dirt track surrounded by trees.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Miss McLaughlin travelled to India using a British passport, but added that its embassy in India "is following up on the suspected murder".

It said: "The Irish Embassy is liaising closely with the British authorities and an Irish consular official is travelling from New Delhi to Goa."

Police say Ms McLoughlin had arrived in Goa on 23 February and had been staying in Arambol, northern Goa, before she travelled to Canacona with two friends.

She grew up in Buncrana, County Donegal, and had lived in Liverpool before returning to Ireland after the death of her grandfather.

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."

In 2008, Briton Scarlett Keeling was found dead on Anjula beach in Goa.

The 15-year-old had been drugged, raped and was found half-naked in shallow water.

Last year, two men were cleared over the death .

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes