The Goa police on Thursday said eight out of 10 bodies found across the state in last three days were murders and claimed breakthrough in at least four deaths with the arrest of a gang.
In a late-night development, police arrested four persons who allegedly confessed to killing a family of four, including a 35-year-old woman, who was also sexually abused before the murder.
The victims were hit with a heavy object on their head and their bodies dumped in a nearby creek in a bid to destroy the evidence, police said.
The four were arrested during an intensive combing of the hutments at Chimbel locality here.
"The main motive behind the murders was to avenge the woman's refusal to have
sex with them (suspects)," Deputy Inspector General of Police Ravindra Yadav told reporters this evening.
"Some of these gang members had visited the lady, a rag picker who stays with her kids and an elderly person, and had tried to misbehave with her a couple of days before the
incident. They struck back again possibly to teach her a lesson," Yadav said.
Police also attributed theft of scrapped material as one of the motives as the gang members have confessed to committing petty thefts in and around Panaji.
According to Yadav, two more people are still at large and police are on the look out for them.
Meanwhile, the police said four other bodies found since Monday were also cases of murder.
The recovery of bodies had triggered a scare across the coastal state.
DIG Yadav, who is supervising two special investigation teams constituted by the state government to crack the cases, has at this stage ruled out the possibility of serial killings in these cases, all involving young women.
"Serial killings are something which are done over a period. All these four murders have happened within a span of 24 hours," he said.
Post-mortem has been conducted on all the four bodies. Three women were burnt after being murdered, the police said.
Of the four bodies, the identity of two has been established, they said.
"The possible links between all these murders could be ruled out or ascertained only if we come to know their identities," Superintendent of Police Atmaram Deshpande said.
"The investigations are being carried out and we have interrogated 26 suspects in connection with these four murders," he said.