THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after DNA reports established the decomposed body found among the bushes at Panathura near Thiruvallam here is indeed that of missing Latvian national Liga Skromane, the special investigation team (SIT) has confirmed it as a case of murder. The police had taken nine persons -suspects and witnesses hailing from Kovalam and nearby areas- into custody for interrogation. However, some of those rounded up are believed to have been let off later. Liga was strangled by suspected anti-socials or criminals.
The police are also verifying whether she had been sexually abused prior to her death. Sources said the boat used by the suspects to ferry Liga to the secluded place has been identified by the police . Forensic experts have started examining the crime spot and are checking the fingerprints on the boat. The victim was reportedly given some psychedelic drug by the culprits. Then she might have been sexually assaulted before being strangled, they said. City Police Commissioner(CP) P Prakash though said it is yet to be established whether Liga had indeed been sexually assaulted. We have nearly confirmed Liga was murdered as the police surgeons indicated such a possibility. So we have taken many persons from the Kovalam area into custody for interrogation. But we are yet to confirm Liga was sexually abused.
Hopefully, we will get a strong lead pretty soon, he said. The Commissioner said a manhunt has been launched for the culprits and they will be brought to justice soon. Meanwhile, Liga's younger sister Ilze Skromane, who called on DGP Loknath Behera, expressed satisfaction over the ongoing probe. Liga, who suffered post-traumatic depression, had gone missing from Kovalam on March 14 after she reached the beach from an ayurveda centre at Pothencode.