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British backpacker arrested for Koh Tao murders

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Surat Thani Police have arrested a British tourist suspected to be involved in the murders of fellow Britons Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on Koh Tao late Sunday night, reported Thai news agency PBS.

Police named the suspect as Christopher Alanvare, said the report (click here).

Mr Alanvare was arrested after resort employees reported seeing him walking near the scene where the bodies of Ms Witheridge and Mr Miller, both 24, were found.

The pair, whose semi-clad bodies were discovered on a Koh Tao beach, were slain in a vicious attack carried out with a hoe. Both victims died from severe head trauma (story here).

Officers reported that they had found blood stains on Mr Alanvare’s clothes, and that he had urgently left Koh Tao on the first ferry to the mainland on Monday morning, reported PBS.

Police said that they were waiting for DNA test results to confirm whether or not the blood stains on Mr Alanvare’s clothing matched DNA samples collected at the scene of the murder and from the victims’ bodies.

Police have also collected DNA samples from foreign workers who lived near the scene, said the report.

However, Region 8 Police Commander Panya Mamen confirmed that three Myanmar workers, all initially suspected of the murders, were freed after interrogation revealed that they were not involved in the fatal attack (story here).

Police have asked friends of David Miller to remain in Thailand pending further investigation into his murder, National Deputy Police Chief Somyot Pumpunmuang revealed today (story here).

Mr Miller’s friends, whom Gen Somyot did not identify, were at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, about to leave Thailand.

“We have asked the British Embassy in Thailand to ask for their cooperation in staying in Thailand while the investigation continues,” Gen Somyot said.

In Britain, flags flew at half mast at Victoria College yesterday in tribute to Mr Miller, who was a former pupil at the college, reported The Nation (story here).

Mr Miller worked as an intern in the St Helier offices of Australian mining company Consolidated Minerals. He was returning from a placement in Australia when he stopped off in Thailand for a holiday.

 

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