Indian authorities have recommended that the investigation into the death of the British teenager Scarlett Keeling concentrate on finding her killer after a second autopsy concluded her death was "homicidal in nature".
The finding of the panel of doctors yesterday all but forces Goan police to turn the case of Scarlett, whose body was discovered on the shore three weeks ago, into a murder investigation.
Police initially said the 15-year-old from Devon had drowned. But her mother insisted she had been raped and murdered. A family spokeswoman, Dakini Runningbear, said: "It has been a long and difficult journey. But this is only part of the way. There is a lot further to go now."
The police officer who said Scarlett had drowned was temporarily suspended four years ago after deciding a murder victim had died of natural causes. Inspector Nerlon Albuquerque – now replaced by a more senior officer as head of Scarlett's inquiry – investigated the death of a man and concluded he died of natural causes, even though his body reportedly bore almost 100 injury marks. The victim's wife and her lover were later found guilty of his murder.