17032015Tue

Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 12pm

Dutchman "confesses" to murder of British tourist in Kashmir

A Dutch national has "confessed" to the murder of a British tourist who was stabbed to death on a houseboat on Dal Lake, in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Richard De Wit, 43, was arrested some 50 miles from the Lake after police intercepted the taxi he was travelling in, hours after Sarah Groves, 24, was found lying in a pool of blood inside her cabin in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Reports say the victim, from Guernsey, was found with "25 stab wounds" inside her cabin by the houseboat owner who had been woken by a commotion and screaming at 2.30 am.

Ms Groves and the Dutchman had been the only guests on the houseboat at the time of the incident.

 

Police are also said to be investigating claims that the victim was raped before being murdered.

Ms Groves, a qualified fitness instructor and who had recently graduated from the Chelsea College of Art and Design, was an avid traveller and adventurer and had been in Kashmir for more than three weeks prior to her death.

The houseboat's owner, Mr G M Shoda, told reporters that he and Ms Groves had become friends and she was "like a daughter" to him.  

Days before her death she responded to a friends' message on her Facebook page, saying: "I'll try my hardest to keep my wits about me and keep safe."

De Wit is reported to have arrived at the boathouse last Wednesday, and was staying at the cabin next to Ms Groves.

One Kashmir police official claimed de Wit had "become paranoid" that Ms Groves was going to kill him after smoking "a large quantity of Cannabis" on Friday night.

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