Two convicted for 2018 rape-murder of Latvian tourist in Keralatext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: A sessions court in Kerala has convicted two accused - Umesh and Udayan - for raping and murdering a Latvian woman, Liga Skromane, a tourist, in 2019 in Kovalam. The sentencing will be on December 5.
Udayan is a tourist guide and Umesh is a caretaker employee. They were charged under IPC sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape), and 20(b) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances NDPS Act. The accused are drug peddlers who lured the woman to the spot saying it was a beautiful place. They made her consume ganja, sexually assaulted her, and strangled her to death.
She was in Kerala for an ayurvedic treatment. She was travelling with her husband Andrew and younger sister IIze Skromane. IIze exhausted all resources and methods to find her sister including declaring a reward in exchange for Liga's whereabouts.
The victim is a 33-year-old Latvian woman who went missing under mysterious circumstances on March 14, 2018. The body was found after 38 days in a decomposed state which led to the loss of biological evidence. The headless body of the woman was found in a mangrove forest on April 21, 2018. The accused were arrested on May 3, 2018.
Police built the case on circumstantial evidence which the prosecution was able to prove in court. IG P Prakash told the media that he is happy to learn about the verdict. He was the city police commissioner when the crime was committed.
"We are just happy that we could bring the culprits to justice. There were many issues in the case. The body was found in a very decomposed state. It was a very challenging case. The locals were not cooperating in the case. This is an issue relating to a foreign lady. We were able to provide justice to her family," said the official.