In what appears to be a homicide, a British woman was found dead on Thursday afternoon with multiple injuries to her body, inside her rented villa in Junjungan, a quiet neighborhood of upscale villas amid the vast expanse of rice fields in Ubud.
The incident shocked local residents who had just celebrated the religious festival of Galungan. The news spread quickly throughout Ubud, which is known as Bali's cultural centre and is rarely the scene of serious crime.
The woman, who was in her forties, was identified as Anne Marie Kathryn Drozdz.
Drozdz was found by an American, Gery Hening William, the husband of the villa's owner, at around 4 p.m. in the afternoon. At that time William was bringing fresh towels into the villa when he saw its door was open and damaged.
He rushed inside only to find Drozdz lying on the floor with a black cloth covering her face.
The police said the woman had lived alone in the villa since early May.
Her body was taken to Sanglah Central Hospital, some 22 kilometers away in the island's capital of Denpasar. An external examination concluded she had been dead several hours before her body was discovered.
"The estimated time of death is 12 to 24 hours before the examination," Sanglah's forensics facility coordinator Ida Bagus Putu Alit said, adding the examination had commenced at 9:15 p.m.
The examination also found bruises on woman's body and a gash on her lips.
"We also found injuries consistent with the result of ligature strangulation on her neck," Alit said.
The forensic team will carry out a full autopsy before it is able to determine the exact cause of death. However, the result of the external examination was sufficient to rule out death by natural causes.
"We found signs of violence, so we believe her death took place in suspicious circumstances,"
Alit said, adding he was waiting for a formal request for an autopsy from the police as well as written permission from the victim's family.
Gianyar Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Komang Sandi Arsana told Bali Daily that the police had contacted the British Embassy to arrange a full autopsy.
"We are pursuing all angles. It is an ongoing investigation and I cannot reveal any details at this point. We have yet to find a significant lead but the detectives are working around the clock," he said.