It has been almost eight years since the 15-year-old Scarlett Keeling’s dead body was found on Goa’s Anjuna beach. It was first declared as a case of accidental drowning by the police but soon new evidence emerged and the death was termed a murder. Two locals were accused of the crime but not much headway could be made in the case.
Story in brief
Fiona MacKeown arrived in Goa with her children for a six month holiday. After a while, she decided to visit Karnataka. Mackeown left Goa except for Scarlett, who she left in the care of her Goan boyfriend, Julio Lobo. Mackeown has been criticised for leaving Scarlett unsupervised in Goa.
February 17, 2008: Unfaithful day
Scarlett Keeling’s body was found on Anjuna beach. Police constable Gurunath the described in court what he saw on February 18, 2008.
“The eyes were partly open, the mouth was partly open too with froth, while orange-coloured slippers were lying two to three metres away from the body,” he disclosed to BP Deshpande, president of the court (source: Independent.co.uk)
First, it was revealed that the death was caused by accidental drowning in the sea. There were five injury marks on her body. Scarlett’s mother insisted on a second autopsy. The second autopsy revealed Scarlett had suffered 50 injury marks on her body and she was raped before her death.
Besides drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine and LSD were found in her body. It was suggested that her head was held in the sea water for 5-10 minutes causing her death. These revelations changed the entire perspective of the case.
It is alleged bartender Samson D’Souza and businessman Placido Carvalho were responsible for her death. It is alleged by Michael Mannion, a witness who has now turned hostile, that he had seen D’souza sexually assault Scarlett just two hours before her death. Carvalho is alleged to have supplied the drugs to Scarlett and also played a role in her murder along with D’souza.
The final hearing on the Case took place on September 23, 2016. Both the accused have been acquitted. Scarlett Keeling’s mother Fiona MacKeown said, ” It is clear that the CBI are either incompetent or corrupt and I don’t believe that they are incompetent. I can only say that if international tourists come to Goa and they are murdered, they cannot hope for justice,” (Source: IANS)
Vikram Varma, counsel of Fiona Mackeown, said, ” The criminal justice goes into motion and those who are charged are acquitted, which essentially means that nobody killed her, nobody hurt her, nobody gave her cocaine,” (Source: IANS)
Fiona had earlier made statements to look for other options in case the sentence does not go in their favour. While speaking to the reporters today she said, “I am not just going to go away and give up…I am just very deflated at the moment,” (Source: NDTV)
Recently, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had appealed the decision, said Vikram Verma.
He said a hearing was scheduled for Monday, 13/2/17, and once all the requirements had been met, a notice would be sent to the accused to secure their presence at Bombay High Court.
“I am hopeful for a conviction, but it would be a long walk,” Mr Varma said.