Investigators in India are trying to trace the final movements of a British tourist whose decomposing body was found wrapped in a carpet and stuffed inside a plastic bag. His hands had been tied behind his back.
Police in Delhi have launched a murder inquiry after the body of 40-year-old Andrew Roddick was discovered in a narrow lane in a market area in India’s capital. A municipal worker sweeping the alleyway was apparently alerted by a bad smell emanating from what he first thought was a pile of rubbish.
“It was apparently found at around 9.30am, although I was not here,” said Sudhir Gupta, who said the body had been found outside his food distribution office in the city’s Bhogal market. “It was found on the steps. The police have not told us anything.”
Police officials said they were still waiting for permission from the British High Commission for a post mortem examination to proceed, after which they hoped to have more insight into the circumstances surrounding Mr Roddick’s death.
A spokesman for the High Commission said in turn they were liaising with the next of kin and waiting for the formal go-ahead from Mr Roddick’s partner, who is in the UK.
Police have revealed Mr Roddick appeared to have endured several injuries, apparently on the head and elsewhere on his body. They believe he was most likely hit with a heavy, blunt object. Some reports said there were cigarette burns on him, raising the prospect that he may have been tortured.
The state of his body led officers to guess he had been killed several days before he was found, though north India’s notoriously harsh summer is getting underway and temperatures have already crossed 100 degrees fahrenheit.
Mr Roddick’s body was found in a lane in the Bhogal market, which is known for both wholesale supplies and as a residential area. On Monday, the market appeared to be largely closed and most of the shopkeepers who were there claimed to know nothing about what may have befallen the British tourist.
Deputy police commissioner P Karunakaran told The Independent Mr Roddick’s hands had been bound behind his back with rope, though he denied reports that his feet had also been tied. His soiled British passport was found on his body.
“Right now we don’t have clear information. We are working on it,” he said. “The post mortem has yet to carried out.”
Reports in the Indian media said Mr Roddick had entered the country two months ago on a tourist visa and that he had visited a number of locations in the country including Mumbai, Goa and the southern city of Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Police are said to be trying to identify if Mr Roddick had an local mobile number and are working with visa officials.
Mr Karunakaran said the indications were that Mr Roddick had spent time in Goa thought he declined to say what the evidence for this was. He said the Briton’s body had been wrapped in carpet and place inside a large plastic bag. “We hope we will know more in a day or two,” he said.
The police have opened a formal inquiry. Mr Roddick’s body has been transferred to the mortuary at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi where the post-mortem examination is due to be carried out.
In a statement, the British Foreign Office said: “We can confirm the death of a British national in India on 28 April 28. We are in touch with the Indian authorities and are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time.”