A British tourist who was murdered in India and whose body was wrapped in a carpet and stuffed inside a plastic bag, was seen with a travel tout shortly before he “disappeared”.
Detectives investigating the killing of 40-year-old Andrew Roddick are said to be questioning an Indian man who was with the British tourist in the Paharganj area of Delhi. The area, located opposite the city’s main railway station, is full of budget hotels and guesthouses and is popular with backpackers and tourists.
Mr Roddick, who is believed to come from the Bedford area, apparently checked in to the Luv Kush International Hotel on Friday morning having arrived on a morning train from Goa. The person who runs the guesthouse, where Mr Roddick paid £3 for a room in the simple but clean establishment, said the Briton had arrived with a tout who had met him at a nearby metro stop.
The man, who asked not to be identified, said his staff had told him that Mr Roddick appeared to have been drinking. He signed the register, left his bag in his room and then went out again with the tout.
Twice that day it appears Mr Roddick visited the Green Chilli Restaurant located close to the hotel. When he first visited, most of the staff were not there. When he returned at 2.30pm he ordered mutton curry and a large bottle of Tuborg strong beer.
Staff said the Briton was by himself and was somewhat aggressive. He would only pay R500 of his bill, which came to R565. “He left at 3pm,” said Hasan Akhtar, a waiter.
Mr Roddick then returned to the hotel and he appeared more intoxicated. At this point, he was again in the company of the tout, who received R100 for each guest he took to the hotel. “I was here by then and he was clearly drunk,” said the man who runs the hotel.
He said Mr Roddick went briefly to his room before leaving with the Indian man. He said that he never returned to the hotel and that he had left his bag in the room. The police had since come to take it. “I could see him with Umesh. After that, he disappeared,” said the man.
Mr Roddick's body was discovered on Sunday morning in an alleyway in the Bhogal market area, about seven miles from his hotel. The area is known as both a residential area and a wholesale market and the corpse was found by a municipal cleaner.
The body had been wrapped in a carpet and then pushed inside a plastic bag. Mr Roddick’s corpse showed evidence of several injuries and police believe he may have been struck with a heavy object. Some reports said there were cigarette burn marks on the body. Officers have also confirmed that his hands had been tied behind his back with rope.
Reports in the Indian media said the detectives were questioning the Indian man seen with Mr Roddick at the hotel in the Paharganj area. A police spokesman, Rajan Bhagat, told The Independent he had no information about the case and was not in position to answer questions.
Detectives have said they hope to gain more insights after a post mortem examination is carried out. Police had been waiting for formal approval from Mr Roddick’s next of kin, though they hoped the procedure would take place on Tuesday evening.
Mr Roddick’s body is being kept at the mortuary in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi where the examination is scheduled to take place.