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Goa Perfumer Specialist Monica Smothered To Death

The post-mortem conducted on renowned perfume specialist Monica Ghurde, whose body was found near here two days back, brought to the fore that she was strangulated to death, although it failed to confirm whether she was raped before the murder or not, police said.

The panel of doctors in Goa Medical College and Hospital conducted the post-mortem on the body of 39-year-old Ghurde, who was found dead at her home in Sangolda village on October 6."The post-mortem report has confirmed that she died due to smothering," Deputy Superintendent of Police Mahesh Gaonkar said on Saturday.

He said the post-mortem report, however, is not clear on the suspicion of rape, which would be known only after the serological examination. “The viscera has also been preserved and would be sent for forensic examination … The post-mortem does not confirm or rule out rape. It is completely silent on that awaiting detailed forensic examination," Gaonkar said.

Ghurde, who was living alone in a rented three bedroom flat at Sangolda village near Calangute beach, was found dead on October 6, although police investigations have revealed that she might have been killed on October 5. Earlier in the day, police said that they had sent teams to the neighbouring states to nab the accused. “We will be able to crack this case soon. We are working on different theories," Deputy Inspector General of Police Vimal Gupta said.

Gupta said the woman originally hailed from Nagpur and was married to a photographer Bharat Ramamrutham from Tamil Nadu and was residing at Porvorim near here before she got separated from her husband and shifted to Sangolda this year. “Police investigations have revealed that she had shifted to Sangolda in July this year and was staying alone," the DIG said.

Gupta said the murder came to light when the maid, who came around 9 am on October 6, found that the door was locked. When Monica did not open it despite repeated knocks she raised an alarm. “The maid later informed Monica's brother (Anand, based in Mumbai) who in turn called her husband (Bharat) and then her neighbour, an American woman who had spare keys following which the door was opened and the body was found," he said.

A case has been registered under section 302 (murder) of the IPC. The perfumer, who was a regular in Goa's social circuit, is said to have met Ramamrutham in Mumbai while she was a photographer. She had done her photography course from Mumbai's JJ Institute of Applied Arts.

Later, she moved to Chennai in 2009 to pursue her interest in perfumes, and later shifted to Goa in 2011. Monika had set up her perfume-making company Mo Lab, and was also researching perfumery. She had collaborated with eminent designers, such as Jean Francois Lesage, Christian Louboutin and Anand Kabra. PTI

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