The harried Goan police in western India now claim a breakthrough in the sensational Scarlett Eden Keeling case.
They say the British girl had had a drug overdose and been sexually assaulted on the beach before she was swept away by a high tide.
Ever since the 15-year-old's body was found on the Anjuna Beach in Goa, an international tourist destination, all kinds of murky stories have been swirling around, many versions charging that the police are doing a hatchet job and trying to protect the culprits.
The mother of the girl, Fiona Mackeown, has written to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alleging cover up. She herself has been herself drawing some flak for abandoning the teenager in an alien spot and going ahead with her own tour programme. The Chief Minister of Goa has said her indifference had left her daughter vulnerable.
But the Indian media has tended to imply that the police are trying to play down the gravity of the crime as they are worried the tourist traffic might be adversely impacted because of all the negative publicity the case was generating.
Inspector General of Police Kishen Kumar on Thursday claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough in the case.
"Prime suspect Placido Carvalho, who was arrested on Wednesday night, has confessed that he gave her drugs, raped her and left her on the beach. As the girl remained unconscious, she died during the high tide," he told reporters, trying to reconstruct the final hours of Scarlett.
Another person, Samson D'Souza, also raped the girl who was tanked with alcohol and cocaine when, at 3 am, she tottered into Lui's Cafe beach drinking shack, where he was manning the bar.
As the girl entered, Carvalho spotted her, led her to the kitchen and pumped her with more cocaine and ecstasy pills, Kumar said. Later that night, a witness saw Samson, 29, in a compromising position with her.
"She was in a drunken state. Some persons in the shack warned Samson to keep away from the girl. Samson sexually assaulted the girl behind the bar and later on the beach," Kumar said.
"Scarlett passed out (on the beach) and Samson tried to revive her by splashing water. She came to for a while and fainted again. At this juncture, Samson saw somebody approaching with a torchlight. He dumped her and fled."
Although Samson and Carvalho have been booked for murder and rape, police are still sticking to the theory that Scarlett died of drug overdose and drowning. But they say that pumping her with drugs demonstrated an intent to rape and murder.
Carvalho, also known as Shanu Boy, was produced before a magistrate in Mapusa and remanded to 14 days in police custody.
Three other men — Murlisagar Bolojo aka Murali, Thomas and Michael Mannion aka Masala Mike — wanted in connection with the murder and rape are still at large.
Still the mother of Scartlett seems to remain unconvinced. "I don't believe it. There are more people involved and police need to expose each and every one of them. For me, the case is not over yet. It has just started," said the 43-year-old Fiona. She has relented to taking her daughter's body from the police mortuary back home to Devon in a few days.
But she is determined to return to Goa with her children to fight for justice. "I will fight for justice till the end. I want my daughter's soul to rest in peace by ensuring that the right people go to prison."