Nepalese police on Tuesday launched a murder investigation after the body of a Belgian woman was found decapitated in a popular trekking spot in the Himalayas.
Debbie Maveau, 23, had been missing for 10 days before her badly decomposed body was found on June 14 beneath a hiking trail in the Langtang National Park, on the Tibetan border, police said.
“Her head was around 13 inches from the rest of her body,” local inspector Bhakta Sunuwar told AFP, adding police had no leads on the culprit and were trying to establish if she had been killed by someone she met before the trek.
Sunuwar said robbery and rape were unlikely motives since her underwear had not been removed and her camera and 8,000 rupees ($93) in cash were not taken.
“People are not cooperating with the investigation. Everyone in the area says they have not seen her,” he added.
“We found that she had travelled to Dhunche from Kathmandu by bus but none of the drivers in the area confirmed that they had seen her.”
A growing number of assaults in Nepal’s Himalayan national parks have led to a US Embassy warning against trekking alone in the region.
American Lena Sessions, 23, was hiking solo in December in Langtang when she was threatened with sexual assault by a masked man with a knife, but managed to escape. The incident came a week after a South Korean woman was assaulted nearby.