Mystery as British woman, 46, is found dead in the grounds of a church on a beach in Goa


  • Briton, 46, found dead on Agonda beach close to Canacona city, southern Goa

Mystery surrounds the death of a British woman whose body was found on a beach in one of India‘s top tourist destinations this morning.

Emma Leaning, 46, was found lying in a church compound which extends onto Agonda beach in southern Goa. There were no external injuries found on her body, police said.

Officers have registered the case and the remains have been sent for a post-mortem examination at the district hospital in the town of Margao.

Leaning’s body was discovered by a group of locals as they walked along Agonda beach, north of the town of Canacona, according to local media. 

The UK Foreign Office told MailOnline: ‘We are supporting the family of a British woman who has died in Goa and are in contact with the local authorities.’ 

Emma Leaning, 46, was found lying in a church compound which extends onto Agonda beach in southern Goa. There were no external injuries found on her body, police said

Emma Leaning, 46, was found lying in a church compound which extends onto Agonda beach in southern Goa. There were no external injuries found on her body, police said

Leaning's body was discovered by a group of locals as they walked along Agonda beach (pictured today), north of the town of Canacona, according to local media

Leaning’s body was discovered by a group of locals as they walked along Agonda beach (pictured today), north of the town of Canacona, according to local media

Locals have speculated that Leaning was attempting to climb a wall when she fell and broke a collarbone. The mystery has also fuelled suspicions over whether there was foul play.

But police inspector Chandrakant Gawas said: ‘She was found with no injuries, her clothes and possessions including mobile phone and identity documents were intact. 

‘We do not suspect foul play. We can comment on the cause of death only after the postmortem.’

According to the Hindustan Times, police said she was a frequent visitor to Goa and was travelling with friends who have been told about the death.

‘Her friends and family have been informed of the incident. The consulate and embassy too have been kept in the loop,’ said South Goa superintendent of police  Abhishek Dhania.

Emma Leaning, 46, was found lying in a church compound which extends onto Agonda beach in southern Goa. There were no external injuries found on her body, police said

Emma Leaning, 46, was found lying in a church compound which extends onto Agonda beach in southern Goa. There were no external injuries found on her body, police said

‘The body will be handed over to the relatives after the completion of formalities,’ he added. 

Police said Leaning’s body was found near Canacona, close to the picturesque beaches of Palolem and Patnem popular with backpackers. Goa is one of India’s leading tourist destinations, and a popular winter sun hotspot for visitors from the UK.

Leaning is understood to have been living in a rented house in Agonda at the time of her death. 





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