Tests on tragic Denyse Sweeney went unchecked for 20 months, it is revealed
CRUCIAL samples that could have given answers over the mystery death of a Derby mum in India went unchecked for 20 months, a new probe has found.
Authorities in the tourist state of Goa repeatedly failed to get experts to study toxicology tests carried out on Denyse Sweeney, Indian journalists have found.
The Goa Herald said the amount of time it took for the samples to be analysed "lends credence to family claims that Denyse was murdered".
Its report says the fresh findings are "starting to torment" the local police as they re-investigate the death of the 34-year-old.
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An inquest in Derby in April heard when the samples were finally analysed, no traces of alcohol or drugs were found. But Denyse's body had sustained 20 mystery injuries, including a severe blow to the back of her head.
Members her family say the delay further cements their view that her death, in April 2010, is not being investigated properly by Goan police.
The Goa Herald said samples taken from Miss Sweeney's body were refused by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, 550 miles and a 14-hour drive away in Chennai, which "suddenly stopped receiving samples from Goa in 2010".
It says police then tried to send the samples to a second laboratory, also in Chennai, which also refused.
Then, in November last year the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory, 530 miles and 13 hours drive away in Surat, accepted the samples.
The newspaper report said: "Delay in getting Denyse's samples examined was reportedly due to the police's inability to get appointments at various forensic laboratories.
"The crucial question is did the 20-month delay alter the results?"
Maureen Sweeney, 43, of Underhill Avenue, Derby, is one of Miss Sweeney's two sisters. She said: "It doesn't surprise us in the slightest. We have been told already by the high commission in India that toxicology samples can take up to four years to be carried out. So, getting Denyse's done in 20 months is relatively quick by those standards."
"We have been convinced for some time that the police in Goa are covering up the reason as to how Denyse died and every report we read from India, or hear about, only adds more strength to this feeling."
Miss Sweeney, of Cambridge Street, Normanton, was reported to have collapsed in a bar "as though she had taken (the drug) ketamine." Her autopsy reports said she had "most likely" had a drug overdose. But the results of the delayed tests showed there were no illegal substances in her system.
To show support for the Sweeney family, visit their Justice For Denyse Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @justice4Denyse.