PANAJI: A police officer who led the probe into the brutal murder of an Irish tourist in Goa on March 13 has claimed that his patron saint, St. Anthony of Padua, helped him track the killer.
In a Facebook post uploaded late on Wednesday, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Canacona) Sammy Tavares said that praying to St. Anthony, a Portuguese-born Francisan Catholic priest from 1200, helped him find a clue in the sensational case, with which the police tracked down the killer within 24 hours.
"On March 13 morning at about 9 a.m., I received a shocking news about a naked dead body of a dead foreigner female at Canacona. The first thing I did was to pray Jesus and St. Anthony who is my patron. It was a Tuesday, St.Anthony's day. I demanded with St. Anthony to intervene and help me in solving this sensational case," Tavares said in his Facebook post.
While 26 per cent of Goa is Roman Catholic in religious orientation, Ireland is also dominated by Roman Catholics.
Tavares claims he got to the clue immediately leading to the arrest of Vikas Bhagat, a history-sheeter, who has been booked under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
"Within few hours of investigations, we came across a clue, upon which we worked out and within four hours the suspect was put behind bars. On further investigations, he confessed of having involved in the gruesome murder of the innocent lady," Tavares said, thanking Jesus Christ and St. Antony for leading him to the clue.
The slain Irish tourist was found naked and sprawled, with injuries to her head and face in a desolate area in Devbag in Canacona, a sub-district located 95 km south of Panaji.
A forensic team is also expected to examine whether the victim, who was vacationing in Goa with a friend, was raped.
"I also assure all, that no stone will be left unturned to give justice to the near and dear ones of the victim," Tavares also said, even as Irish consular officials have established contact with the state home department to work out the arrangements for ferrying the victim's remains to Ireland.