The 51-year-old found dead has been named locally as Kevin McMahon
A British backpacker who died in India yesterday after vomiting blood was a father-of-four who made a fortune selling villas in Bali, MailOnline has learnt.
Kevin John McMahon, 51, was discovered dead in the bathroom by his American friend, named as Katherine, at the Kashi guesthouse in Varanasi in northern India.
He had been staying on a houseboat with Muslim friends in Kashmir and travelled to India after a dispute, without taking any luggage with him.
He had met Katherine on the houseboat, and the pair had travelled around India together before going on to Varanasi. His family said it was unclear whether they were romantically involved.
According to his sister Maureen McMahon, 51, he had been in India for just two weeks before he fell ill, suffering severe stomach pain before he died.
‘He was a larger-than-life character, definitely,’ she said. ‘Definitely a big character.
‘I don’t think it was a drugs-related thing. He had health problems. He’d get blood clots and DVT in his legs, he had two or three of those. He had a blood disorder. His legs were still swollen from the last blood clots he had.
‘I’m not jumping to conclusions. I need to wait for the post mortem.’
Kevin John McMahon, 51, was discovered dead in the bathroom by his American friend, named as Katherine
Mr McMahon had been in India but was not carrying around any luggage with him during his travels
The Briton died during the night at Kashi Guest House (pictured) in the city of Varanasi, a holy Hindu sight
A British traveller has been found dead in ‘suspicious’ circumstances while visiting Varansi, a city in India that is popular with backpackers (pictured)
Police said there were no marks on his body and his death is being treated as suspicious.
The backpacker, who had never visited India before, was in Varanasi to visit an orphanage run by two Canadian friends before travelling on to Hong Kong, where he lived, family members said.
Mr McMahon, originally from Southampton, had lived in Taiwan and Hong Kong since 1998, and could speak Mandarin.
He had married a Chinese woman in Taiwan and they had three children, aged between 12 and 16. He also had a 27-year-old son by a British woman.
Mr McMahon and his Chinese wife divorced some years ago, and he started a new life in Hong Kong.
Remembered as ‘always a good laugh’ by his family, Mr McMahon was a drifter who picked up work as an English teacher before starting his own business selling villas in Bali.
His business was so successful that he did not have to work for ‘a few years’, his family said, but was thinking of starting trading again when he went out to India.
Mrs McMahon said: ‘It is a great shock. I last saw him at the end of July, when he was looking forward to going to India. He had come to visit us in the UK, and stayed in London seeing friends for a week.
Katherine, an American national, with the Indian police in the guest house
Ms Gallagher, who was with Mr McMahon the night he died, said: ‘Kevin was seriously ill’
‘He was always planning to go back to Asia but had never been to India, so went to Varanasi to visit a friend who runs the orphanage.
‘He seemed OK. He was upbeat. He never really seemed to know what he was going to do next.
‘He was a wherever-I-lay-my-head type person.’
After first going out to Taiwan in 1998, Mr McMahon barely visited Britain for 17 years.
He came back in 2016 as a result of visa problems, and went back and forth to Asia for the two years before his death.
The city of Varanasi is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and is also next to the River Ganges
A spokesperson for Kashi Guest House, where Mr McMahon was found dead, said staff informed police on Sunday night that the backpacker had fallen ill after complaining of severe stomach pain.
The spokesperson added that staff had encouraged the traveller to go to hospital but claimed that the 51-year-old wanted to stay in his room.
On Monday morning he was found dead on the floor of the room with the door open.
A postmortem is expected to be completed in the coming days.
Ms Gallagher, who was with Mr McMohan the night he died, said: ‘Kevin was seriously ill, he was writhing in stomachache when I asked for a medical aid but nobody came to help us in time, he was also vomiting out blood as he was sick.’
Chief Senior Superintendent Anand Kulkarni said: ‘The man was severely sick and had complained of severe stomachache on the night before he died.
‘The girlfriend had asked for a medical help but the help couldn’t arrive on time, by the time paramedics arrived, Kevin was already dead.’
A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘We are supporting the family of a British man who died in India and are in contact with local authorities.’
Local police have confirmed that they are treating the traveller’s death as suspicious and have referred it to the British High Commission in New Delhi (pictured is Varanasi)