Indian police accused of coverup
Mar 04,2008 00:00 by UPI

NEW DELHI - A British mother has rejected an Indian police finding of drowning in the death of her daughter, saying the 15-year-old was raped and killed.

Scarlett Keeling's semi-nude body was found last month on a beach in the popular tourist state of Goa in south India. Police in the state later said the girl had accidentally drowned, the Times of London reported.

The Times report said an autopsy report it had seen showed several bruises and abrasions on the girl's head, neck, arms and legs -- which the victim's family said it believes were the result of sexual assault.

The report quoted a pathologist in Goa as saying the girl had had sexual intercourse but it was not known if that had been forced.

The girl's mother, Fiona MacKeown, accused the police of a coverup to avoid opening a rape and homicide case, the report said.

"I have viewed my daughter's body. The police said there were no abrasions and her body is covered in them," the mother told the Times, adding her daughter was a strong swimmer.

The report said police have promised to consider the mother's request for a second autopsy.

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