The victim and suspect were Facebook friends and had never met prior to the incident
A single mother in Gomtu, who lost her only daughter recently after a man she met on Facebook allegedly murdered her, said girls should be careful of who they meet on social media.
The 19-year-old girl went missing since March 1 but the mother suspected that she eloped and would return one day. The mother lodged a complaint with the police only on March 6.
But to the dismay of the mother, Gomtu police informed her that they found a dead body below a cement factory on March 9 and required her to identify the body. “I couldn’t even look at the body. My neighbors identified it.”
A press release issued by the police stated that a Gomtu resident spotted the decomposed body. “A hand towel measuring about 70cm long was found tied on the deceased’s neck with single knot.”
The press release also stated that there was a wound on the head and neck and that the right fingertip was also missing.
Police said they detained a 23-year-old man from Phuntshopelri gewog in Samtse in connection with the murder on March 10.
Police alleged that they narrowed him as suspect, after the deceased’s friend told them that she went to meet a Facebook friend with whom the deceased was in contact over phone.
The deceased’s friend, a class VIII student, told police that the deceased visited her house in the evening of March 1 and then they walked towards the cement factory at around 8pm after the deceased shared her plan of meeting her Facebook friend.
The friend also told that the deceased received a call when they were waiting at a football ground below the cement factory after which the deceased asked her to go back home. The deceased then left towards Gomtu town.
Police claimed they learned that the suspect was constantly wooing the victim to come alone to meet him at different places.
Police also claimed the friend knew the victim’s Facebook password and they found out that the suspect used a fake account to woo the victim. They were in touch since February 24.
Police searched the mobile number the victim received call from on WeChat and the WeChat account belonged to the suspect.
The deceased had also uploaded a picture similar to that of the suspect’s profile picture on her Facebook account.
The friend told police that she had been calling the deceased since March 1, since the deceased left her phone charger at her place but the phone was switched off.
The friend told police she then asked her sister who works in the same company with the deceased to check if she came for work the next day. After finding out that she wasn’t at work, the friend informed the deceased’s mother, who searched for her daughter for the first few days.
Police claimed that the suspect confessed to the crime and that he also confessed that he and the deceased knew each other since childhood. He also admitted that he has two Facebook accounts.
Police, in their press release, said the suspect who works in another cement factory in Gomtu was on duty from 10pm onwards on March 1. The deceased and the suspect agreed to meet at Chautara, a resting shed near the cement factory’s parking area at around 8:30pm.
According to the suspect’s statement to police, he tried to hug the deceased on their way towards Sukti river but she resisted.
After reaching about half a kilometre above the river, he made sexual advances but she again resisted.
The suspect told police that he strangled her when she said that she would tell his wife and then shouted for help.
“The suspect raped her when she was unconscious and then again strangulated her with her hand towel and then fled the scene,” the police press release stated.
Police said the suspect had cleared all his chat history with the deceased and then blocked her. He also deleted his call logs.
The deceased, a class VI dropout, was temporarily working for a private company since February 3.
The mother, who worked as road side labourer, said she cannot believe that her daughter is no more. “She was the only one I had after I lost my husband when my daughter was one year old.”
The 50-year-old woman said her daughter always told her to stay at home when she would work and earn money. “She promised to look after me.”