Scottish Daily Mail
‘Murder’ in paradise... but Indian police drop case again
Anger over mum’s death in Goa
THE family of a woman who died in mysterious circumstances in India have spoken of their heartache after detectives dropped a second investigation.
Edinburgh-born Denyse Sweeney was 34 when she collapsed outside a bar in Goa six years ago.
Police originally concluded that she had overdosed on drugs. However, after an inquest in the UK ruled out narcotics, her family forced the case to be reopened four years after the tragedy.
Now India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has told them Miss Sweeney died from fluid on the brain, with no evidence of violence.
Devastated relatives who are convinced she was murdered now say they ‘feel like giving up’ in the fight to find out the truth.
In April 2010, Miss Sweeney travelled to Goa from her home in Derby for a second visit to the area.
But on a night out her friend found her near the toilets of a nightclub in Anjuna in a distressed state.
After being taken to hospital Miss Sweeney was declared dead less than an hour later.
An initial post-mortem report in India gave the cause of her death as a drugs overdose and officials said medical opinion pointed towards accidental death.
However, an inquest in Derby in April 2012 heard that tests carried out in the UK discovered there were no drugs in the mother of two’s system, but there were up to 20 unexplained marks on her body.
It showed she died from a head injury.
The family launched a campaign which successfully saw the Indian authorities agree to re-investigate the death, but the CBI has now filed a report to close the case.
Nandkumar Nair, the head of the CBI’s special branch in Mumbai, said that the cause of death was cerebral and pulmonary oedema – an accumulation of fluid in the brain and lungs.
He added that there was no evidence of assault or homicide, no eyewitnesses or circumstantial evidence of any attack and medical opinion pointed to an accident.
On Monday, Miss Sweeney’s sister Maureen was told that detectives had submitted a closure report to the court ‘due to a lack of evidence to establish an offence’.
But the 47-year-old, who works for Derby City Council, said: ‘I know she was murdered – she was hit over the head with a rock or boulder. We knew this from day one.
‘We were told by tourists, by her friends… we’ve had various reports from the police. Yes it did happen, no it didn’t happen. We are just getting conflicting stories from all over the place.
‘I’m furious because they’ve clearly ignored information, evidence… for them to say that there’s no evidence and actually they’re saying she died because she was drunk.
‘We’ve proven time and time again she had no drugs in her system and alcohol was included in that.’
Miss Sweeney’s mother Jane, 67, died in 2014, days after the fourth anniversary of her daughter’s death.
The family say she ‘never really came to terms with losing Denyse’ and believe she would still be alive had her life not been blighted by the tragedy.
Maureen Sweeney added: ‘It has left me feeling completely hopeless that we will ever get any justice or truth as to how Denyse died.
‘I knew in my heart of hearts that I would have to give up the fight one day and after hearing this week that they have closed the case I just feel like giving up.
‘Apart from crying in a corner, I don’t know what else to do. I don’t think I will ever get the Indian authorities to tell me the truth.’
‘They’ve clearly ignored evidence’