Page last updated at 02:32 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 03:32 UK

Scarlett mother 'fears cover-up'

Scarlett Keeling
Scarlett Keeling was found dead on a Goa beach

The mother of a British girl murdered in India has vowed to keep pressure on police there to ensure her death is fully investigated and not covered up.

Fiona MacKeown's daughter, Scarlett Keeling, 15, from Devon, was found dead on a beach in Goa on 19 February. Police initially said she had drowned.

Ms MacKeown fears that Indian federal investigators could drop the case.

The results of tests to check if Scarlett had been raped are expected in the next few days.

Worst fear

Ms MacKeown said her worst fear was that the tests would come back negative and the case would then be left with local police, rather than being taken over by the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

She said: "I want it to be properly investigated, not covered up. They are worried about embarrassment but it will just get bigger if they don't deal with it."

If this evidence has been tampered with, it would confirm my worst fears that it is being covered up
Fiona MacKeown

Ms MacKeown, 43, from Bradworthy, north Devon, said she would continue her campaign even if the case was not taken on by the CBI.

Scarlett was on holiday with her family when she was killed. The rest of the family were travelling elsewhere in the region when she was killed in the beach resort of Anjuna.

After police initially said the teenager had drowned after drinking, Mrs MacKeown campaigned for a second post-mortem, insisting her daughter had been attacked.

After fresh tests, police said they now believed she had been drugged, raped and murdered.

After returning from a nine-day trip to India in a quest for answers earlier this month, Ms MacKeown said she believed she knew the identity of her daughter's killer.

She claimed the Indian authorities had tried to cover up what happened because the culprit was a "powerful" person.

She also said she had been forced to fly home without some of Scarlett's internal organs, which had been removed during a post-mortem examination.

Their absence was revealed after Scarlett's body was brought back for a third post-mortem in the UK.

Ms MacKeown said: "I believe they won't give me her organs because they don't want them to be tested over here. And if this evidence has been tampered with, it would confirm my worst fears that it is being covered up."

The Indian authorities have said Ms MacKeown's request for Scarlett's organs to be returned was "unprecedented" and there was no system in place for it to be carried out.

Two men have been arrested over Scarlett's death.

Samson D'Souza, 28, has been charged with rape and is in police custody.

Placido Carvalho, who was questioned on suspicion of involvement in Scarlett's rape and murder, was granted bail by a court in Goa on 4 April.





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