The Man Who Made Scarlett Keeling Beautiful


The Man Who Made Scarlett Keeling Beautiful

Illustration: Namaah/ Arré


t was 2012. Scarlett Keeling’s body returned home to Devon, days shy of her twentieth birthday. She was 15 when she was found washed up on a beach in Goa. Every single angle of her short, short life had been spliced and diced by tabloids, much the same way her body was hacked into by many probing autopsies. Piecing back the remains, after the mortal coil was shuffled, was one man’s job.

Scarlett Keeling first came to Elroy Noronha before she became a metonym for the seamy side of sunny Goa, days after her death in 2008. She was whisked right back into the tortuous justice system. A week later, her body was returned to the embalmer, bearing the scars of a second post-mortem, the face known from prime-time news, but barely recognisable, not just from the post-mortems but also from the prolonged water damage. The victims of drowning, according to Noronha, are the toughest cases.