Irish woman Danielle McLaughlin murdered during Holi celebrations in South Goa

Police have launched an investigation into an alleged rape and murder

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The Independent Online

The naked body of an Irish student from Liverpool has been found near a beach in South Goa, Indian police say, and the incident is being treated as murder.

The woman, who was in her twenties and has been named locally as Danielle McLaughlin, is understood to have travelled to the area to celebrate the festival of Holi.

Police have launched an investigation into Ms McLaughlin's alleged rape and murder and have sent her body to the Goa Medical College for a post-mortem.

Ms McLaughlin is thought to have been visiting India with a friend, who is helping authorities with the investigation. 

“We are investigating people with whom she was playing Holi during a party here. Her friend has also given us some leads and we are questioning some suspects,” a police officer, who asked not to be named, told IANS.

“The body was lying in a pool of blood without clothes and there were injuries on the head and face,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Sammy Tavares told The Hindu.

Investigators are assessing CCTV footage from nearby areas and one man has been arrested so far.

The Irish embassy in the country has made contact with the relevant authorities and has expressed its desire to help. 

"Ireland's embassy in New Delhi is in contact with Indian authorities in relation to reports of an incident involving an Irish citizen. The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade stands ready to provide consular assistance," the department said in a statement to the Irish Times.

The BBC reported Ms McLaughlin, who grew up in Buncrana, County Donegal, was a dual national who travelled to India on her British passport. The UK Foreign Office said it was working with Indian police.

"We are supporting the family of a British-Irish woman following her death in Goa, India," a spokesman told the BBC. "Our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time."