PANAJI: Goa police have identified two persons behind perfume researcher Monika Ghurde’s murder+ . They were caught by CCTV camera at an ATM at Porvorim, about 3km from the scene of the crime, withdrawing money with her card, police said on Saturday. They also withdrew money in Bengaluru using the same card.
But police have not disclosed their identities yet.
A police team has now left for the Karnataka capital. Goa police have also asked their Bengaluru counterparts to provide them with CCTV footage.
While the postmortem on Saturday revealed that Ghurde died due to smothering, the forensics department reserved its opinion on alleged sexual assault. The 39-year-old was found dead in her rented flat in Goa’s Sangolda on Thursday night. She was found naked with her hands tied to the bed.
The postmortem report said marks were found on her private parts, but the panel of doctors at Goa Medical College and Hospital reserved their opinion on whether there was forcible sexual intercourse pending a serological examination. The viscera and swab would be sent to central forensic science laboratory in Hyderabad for chemical analysis.
North Goa superintendent of police Umesh Gaonkar said cause of death was “asphyxia due to compression of mouth and neck,” and it appeared the persons involved were known to her. He said police were open to investigating all angles including robbery, murder and sexual assault.
“We have collected the required inputs. We have got the leads and are moving forward. We are hopeful of cracking the case very soon,” Gaonkar, who is monitoring the case, said. He said Ghurde’s body has been handed over to her family.
Saligao police have also started recording the statements of victim’s friends+ , family members, neighbours and watchman of the complex. They have also visited places frequented by Ghurde to obtain clues.
Gaonkar said the watchman is being questioned to ascertain the time at which Ghurde returned to her apartment on Wednesday, and whether she was alone or accompanied by someone. He also said police are trying to establish if anything is missing from her flat.