Both the accused in the murder case of 15-year-old British teen Scarlett Keeling have been acquitted by the Supreme Court. It has beenmore than eight years since her body was found on Goa’s Anjuna beach in the morning hours and two beach shack workers Samson D’souza and Placido Carvalho were arrested for sexually assaulting her after giving her a cocktail of drugs and leaving her unconscious in the shallow waters.
Her body was found in the early hours of February 19, 2008. Scarlett’s mother, Fiona MacKeown is in Goa and was hoping her daughter would finally get justice. Earlier in the day she was quoted as saying “It has been long time of waiting. Waiting for this day. I am nervous and hope that the struggle and wait will end.”
But after the verdict a disheveled Fiona had to be supported down the steps as she said, ” I am devastated and too shocked.”
This was one such case that exposed the dark side of Goa’s drug cartel and initially her death was debuted as a suicide by the Goa police. The investigation was later shifted to CBI which eventually filed the chargesheet and the prime witness in the case, a British national Michael Mannion, did not testify because of a nervous breakdown. Three public prosecutors and five judges have changed in course of the trial. Mannion had told the police that he saw one of the two men sexually assaulting the teenager.
Scarlett’s death had thrown the spotlight on Goa’s drug underbelly, with her mother also accusing the local police of trying to cover up the case, claiming there was a drugs mafia at work.