Drug overdose angle ruled out in UK tourist's death



Panaji: British woman Denyse Carol Sweeney had not died of drug overdose here in 2010 as initially claimed by the Goa Police, giving credence to her family's claim that she had been murdered.

A senior police official today confirmed they have received chemical report of Sweeney's viscera, sent for analysis at a Gujarat lab after months of delay, and it has concluded there was no trace of alcohol or drugs in her body.

The British tourist had collapsed at a night club at Anjuna on April 16, 2010 and died the same day at a private hospital where she was admitted.

The hospital had claimed the 35-year-old died "due to drug overdose" and the police concurred with the conclusion after its investigations.

Sweeney's family members had refused to buy the drug overdose theory after several bruise marks were found on her body during an autopsy done in the UK. Her sister Maureen had launched a campaign seeking justice for her sister with the help of local media and elected representatives.

Goa Police, which had closed the investigation, reopened it and registered a fresh case of murder against unknown persons.

Police officials said although the viscera report is negative, it could be due to delay in analysis. Police had sent the viscera almost 20 months after Sweeney's death, citing "reluctance" on part of forensic laboratories in the country to accept it for analysis.

Surat Regional Forensic Laboratory had finally accepted the viscera and sent the report to Goa Police.

After reopening the probe, police had recorded statements of witnesses and even police officials involved in the initial investigation.

PTI