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The man of Asian appearance who is now a focus of investigators

Koh Tao Murder Families Fly In: Thailand Police Broaden Hunt for Killer or Killers

Thursday, September 18, 2014
PHUKET: Police are starting over in the hunt for the killer or killers of two young British tourists on the Thai holiday island of Koh Tao after DNA evidence failed to match any of the suspects.

Relatives of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, arrived in Bangkok today.

Police have advised them against viewing the bodies because damage from the murder weapon, a hoe, has made the young tourists' faces unrecognisable.

Former suspect and fellow Briton Christopher Alan Ware could be on a flight back home as early as tonight, with Thai Tourist Police helping to organise the flight plans for he and his brother.

Most interest now centres on a man of Asian appearance who ran back and forth several times down a road near the beach where the bodies were found early on Monday. Grainy black and white footage of the man is the only clue investigators now have.

Region 8 Police Commander General Panya Mamen said today: ''More detectives will be added to the team. We aim to interview everyone who was within 500 metres of the scene where the killing took place.''

The thought of a killer on the loose will perturb police and tourism authorities and trouble visitors planning on going to that part of Thailand.

Many unexplained aspects have yet to be threaded together.

Thailand's Deputy Commander of Police, General Jarumporn Suramanee, has raised the prospect that there could be more than one killer and more than one murder weapon.

With an autopsy confirming that Miller's body had water in the lungs, investigators believe he struggled with his killer in the sea. Yet if Ms Witheridge was alive at the time, she would have screamed and probably ran.

One report allegedly directly from the laboratory where the autopsies were carried out speculates today that two men had sex with Hannah Witheridge on the night she died and that the DNA on one matched the DNA found on a cigarette discarded nearby.

To end confusion, what investigators should consider is a daily media briefing for Thai and international journalists to clarify discrepancies and update on the latest information, much as the Malaysian authorities did after the disappearance six months ago of Flight MH370, until the killer or killers are caught.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


So so sad, there families must be distraught...

Tragic.... I hope they find the person or persons who did this before anything else happens again..

Posted by Robert on September 18, 2014 13:53


This is a real tragedy people so young loosing their life's in such a horrendous manor so sad indeed. I hope they are looking to the sea as well since a boat could have come ashore and then departed.

Posted by mike on September 18, 2014 14:39


A few questions. Were the two British boys booked on a plane already to leave Bangkok before this tradegy ?
Secondly, from what a police officer told me this evening, DNA testing takes quite a time. How did they do all this in a very short time ?
Who found them, and at what time ?
The procedure all seems very strange to me !
How terrible for those kids, and their families !

Posted by Elizabeth on September 19, 2014 05:29


Surely with DNA known they should be able to determine if it is of Asian or Caucasian in origin that has never been mention, due to transient nature of humans in last few centries though hard to determine country of origin

DNA testing can be done very quickly now

Posted by Michael on September 19, 2014 10:57


"To end confusion, what investigators should consider is a daily media briefing for Thai and international journalists to clarify discrepancies and update on the latest information.... until the killer or killers are caught."

What, every day, no matter how long it takes? Improbable and unrealistic. What authorities should do is stop individual officers talking to the media and only release factual information from a designated source.It is the unseemly rush to get their names in the Press that has lead the investigators to the apparently clueless position they are in now. The speculative spin being put on information from "a reliable source on the investigation team" has resulted in some quite disgraceful coverage in the media over here in the UK. The families themselves have requested the media to stop the deeply distressing unconfirmed and unauthorised coverage and let the Police get on with their job. Daily media briefings will not help that process.

Posted by Alan on September 19, 2014 16:18

Editor Comment:

Daily media briefings proved sensible in the case of the loss of both Malaysian aircraft and reduced the amount of misinformation. For you to say a daily briefing would not help is bizarre, especially as you move right along to criticise the anarchic coverage. Please think before typing. Top-of-the-head comments without thought are just what you're criticising. If you don't have a more constructive idea than daily media briefings to address the problem of disinformation, I suggest saying nothing is the wiser option.


" If you don't have a more constructive idea than daily media briefings to address the problem of disinformation, I suggest saying nothing is the wiser option." - where did I say that? That is a direct copy and paste of YOUR article or the article YOU chose to publish! So don't criticise me. Criticise the author of the article!
My comments were neither "top of the head" and certainly not "without thought" and I'm sorry but not surprised as a representative of the media you would react defensively instead of reading the whole of my comments and taking into account their intent was to perhaps make you think what the unofficial briefings have had over here in the UK and I'm sure elsewhere outside Thailand. The similar daily briefings on MH70 were an excellent idea for the Media but unfortunately as is always the case they are misused to put different spins and different angles on what was an attempt to release consistent information. The main thrust of my remarks were that the first thing that should happen is that there should be no unauthorised and uncontrolled leakage of information to the media and also question the need for daily briefings with no time limit on them which is mainly for the benefit of the press until another story comes along. MH70 is still missing. Do the daily briefings still take place? Perhaps they do - directly to the families involved which is the main priority! You don't need to antagonise everyone who doesn't share your view. You don't need to like all their views. However, please respect the right to hold them.

Posted by Alan on September 19, 2014 19:11

Editor Comment:

''What, every day, no matter how long it takes? Improbable and unrealistic.'' You start your remarks with a petty put-down of a constructive idea.

We don't invite or deserve unwarranted criticism. If you don't like our reporting, go elsewhere. If you don't like what you read in the British media, criticise them on their sites. Readers with all the answers are not rare, but seldom right.


Too much to expect an apology for your incorrect remarks about my initial comments? Two Don't bother just take the easy way out and tell anyone who doesn't share your views to bu**er off.

Posted by Alan on September 20, 2014 00:49

Editor Comment:

It's you who should be apologising to us, Alan, for using our free service yet criticising it at every opportunity. We refuse to be treated as your staff. There are ways of making points without being abrasive or confrontational.


You are absolutely right. I apologise for my abrasive confrontational style. I will in future attempt to be less so.However, in the spirit of fair and accurate reporting if you keep records of my previous contributions I hope you would acknowledge that at least from my support for you and your colleague and, most importantly, your support for the persecution of the Rohingya, that I have not been "using our free service yet criticising it at every opportunity."

Posted by Alan on September 20, 2014 13:59

Editor Comment:

Indeed, we appreciate your support. But we disagree about sunbeds

Tuesday December 5, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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