London, Mar.8 : A British man who says he witnessed a sexual assault on a 15-year-old British girl on the same morning she was found dead in Goa has contacted British authorities to ask for their help and protection.
According to The Times, British officials have told him that they cannot intervene in the investigation into the death of Scarlett Keeling, whose half-naked body was found on Anjuna beach on February 18.
They have advised him to return to Goa to give a statement to the local police, who have been accused by the girl's mother of covering up her rape and murder.
But the man, who fled Goa last month, fears that if he returns, his life will be in danger.
"He wants to come forward and help, but he does not trust the police," said a relative of the man.
Fiona MacKeown, Scarlett's mother, appealed this week for the witness to come forward as she pressed local authorities to perform a second autopsy on her daughter's body.
Scarlett's body was covered in bruises, her shorts and underwear had been removed and her bra-top pushed up around her neck.
The first autopsy concluded that she drowned, but Fiona MacKeown accused local police of covering up her daughter's rape and murder after seeing the bruises and finding her underwear, shorts and sandals in the bushes near the beach.
The first autopsy also showed that Scarlett had no water in her lungs, although her windpipe did contain sand and salt water.
Goan authorities bowed to mounting political pressure yesterday by beginning the process of performing a second autopsy, which is now under the auspices of a local magistrate rather than the police.