PANAJI, India – Police questioned three men Sunday in an investigation into the death of a 15-year-old British girl whose body was found on a beach in southern India, officials said.
There were unconfirmed reports later Sunday from the Press Trust of India news agency that a man had been formally arrested. It was unclear whether he was one of those already questioned and police did not say what charges he was facing.
On the night she died, Scarlett Keeling was seen at a bar with a group of local men, three of whom were held for questioning by the authorities earlier in the day, police official Bosco George said.
Her partially clothed and bruised body was found Feb. 18 on Anjuna beach in Goa, a tiny state with a coastline crowded with tourists and resorts. Police initially believed she accidentally drowned because she was drunk, but her family accused the police of a cover-up and pushed for a second autopsy and further investigation.
The second autopsy also showed that she had drowned, officials said, but doctors identified more bruises on her body and recommended that police investigate the death as a murder.
The family also believes that Keeling may have been sexually assaulted.
The case has become a serious embarrassment for local officials, and George said he would conduct an internal inquiry into the investigation.
"It was our main objective to get the police or somebody to admit that she'd been murdered, as I knew in my heart that she had been," Fiona MacKeown, Keeling's mother, told British Broadcasting Corp. television. "I'm convinced that they were covering it up."
Keeling had been on vacation in India with her mother, her mother's boyfriend, and her five siblings. Keeling's family was traveling elsewhere in India when she was killed.