Latvian woman’s was clear case of homicide, forensic doctor tells court

Says there were three injuries on the tourist’s neck that were inflicted before her death

Published: 25th June 2022 04:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2022 04:04 AM   |  A+A-

Latvian national Liga Skromane (right) with her sister Ilze | File photo

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The injuries noticed on the body of a Latvian tourist, who was found dead in a swamp near Panathura in 2018, was a clear case of homicide, Dr Sasikala, former head of the Forensic Department in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital, testified before the Additional Sessions Court on Friday.

Sasikala, who had led the autopsy, said there were three injuries in the neck region that were inflicted due to heavy blunt impact. Those injuries were inflicted before her death and could have been caused either by pressing with elbow or stamping with leg, she added.

Sasikala also said two injuries were noticed in the inner thigh region and that could have been caused by forceful abduction of legs. Sasikala cited medical literature and said diatoms can be present in the body even if it’s not a case of drowning. Regarding detection of sperm traces in dead bodies, she said it was difficult to detect sperm from the Latvian’s corpse as it was in a putrefied state.

Sasikala’s statements hold significance as Assistant Chemical Examiner Ashok Kumar P G testified on Thursday that death of the Latvian woman could also be due to drowning and no sperm traces were recovered from her body. This had posed a challenge to the prosecution as their case was that the woman was subjected to rape and later murdered by two local residents.

Sasikala ruled out the suicide theory and said cricoid cartilage in the neck would not have been broken had it been a case of suicide. The 33-year-old tourist, who had arrived here for ayurvedic treatment, was allegedly murdered by two men, Umesh and Udayan, who were local drug peddlers. The woman had gone missing from Kovalam beach and her putrefied body was recovered from a swamp near Panathura several days later.


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