Irishman whose partner’s body was found in India claims she was murdered

Liga Skromane (33), originally from Latvia but resident in Ireland for five years, went missing in March

Liga Skromane, who was living in Swords, Co Dublin, with her partner Andrew Jordan, went missing in India last month. Photographs: Andrew Jordan

The partner of a woman whose body was found in Kerala in southern India says she was murdered and he holds the local police partly responsible for her death.

"If they had investigated [her disappearance] properly from the start, she might be alive," Andrew Jordan said on Wednesday.

He accused the Kerala police of being “grossly incompetent and negligent”, of having a fundamentally corrupt relationship with local politicians and of conspiring to hide the truth so as not to damage tourism in the area.

Liga Skromane (33), who was originally from Latvia but resident in Ireland for five years, went missing on March 14th from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala's capital city.


She had gone to Kerala on February 3rd with her sister Ilze and last seen taking a rickshaw to nearby Kovolam beach.

The pair hoped that a six week long medical treatment programme using the ayurveda system, a holistic Indian approach involving herbs and seeds, meditation and yoga, might help Liga who had suffered a mental breakdown last August.

After she went missing on March 14th, Mr Jordan, who is head grower at Sonairte, the National Ecology Centre in Laytown, Co Meath, travelled to India on March 17th and has been there since. He urged the local police to investigate her disappearance.

"They basically laughed and smiled when we asked them to investigate a possible kidnap, " Mr Jordan told the Irish Times today (thurs). "They said western women never get kidnapped here."

He said he and Ilze begged the police to investigate but nothing was done for two weeks.

“It’s quite apparent the police in Kerala are corrupt, right to the top” he charged. “They’re in the pocket of the ruling party. It’s as rotten ad rotten can be.”

On April 20th, two boys found Ms Skromane’s badly decomposed body. Mr Jordan said that it was upside down and “half hanging in the crook of a tree” and had been decapitated.

“It was obvious from looking at her that she didn’t die from natural causes,” he said.

He described the area as being one in which there were “lots of gangs of boys living wild, selling drugs and chatting up western women in the hope of something”.

According to Mr Jordan, the police said that an autopsy did not reveal a cause of death and a second examination would be carried out.

It was “obvious” they were “stalling”, he said.

“They came up with some half baked story about her dying from eating poisoned fruit,” he added.

Mr Jordan paid tribute to Liga as an exceptional person whom he loved very much.

“Liga was the most loving, kind and gentle soul that anyone could meet,” he said. “I feel blessed to have had her in my life. I intend to fulfil her dreams of establishing a treatment and recovery farm, for anyone with mental illness, where a more holistic and humane approach will be available to those who the system has failed.”

At a press briefing earlier this week, it was disclosed that Liga had twice attempted suicide in Ireland but her sister said her mental condition had improved.

"The police investigated in a casual manner," said Ilze. She suspected foul play but the police hastily discounted the possibility of a murder and speculated about suicide.

The area’s Director General of Police, Loknath Behera, said that notwithstanding earlier suggestions of suicide, the police would investigate fully.

"We will conduct detailed probe and it's a challenging case. We have sought the help of best forensic expert in the case," DGP Behera was quoted telling India Today.

Peter Murtagh

Peter Murtagh

Peter Murtagh is a contributor to The Irish Times