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Phi Phi Poisonings: Autopsy results on Canadian sisters “inconclusive’

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Krabi Police today announced that the autopsies conducted by Thai authorities on the bodies of Canadian sisters Audrey and Noemi Belanger failed to find any traces of drugs.

The lack of discovery as to what caused the women’s deaths now forces police to follow other leads in their investigation, Krabi Provincial Police Deputy Commander Boontawee Toraksa said today.

Audrey, 20, and Noemi, 26, were found dead in their hotel room on Phi Phi Island on June 15.

Their bodies were sent to the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the Police General Hospital in Bangkok for tests before being released for repatriation to their hometown of Pohenegamook.

“No [illicit] drugs were found in their systems and there were no signs of what may have caused their deaths. Now police have to wait for the results from investigations by other related organizations,” Maj Gen Boontawee said.

Among the other experts investigating the deaths is Dr Jakkarat Pittayawong-anon, a specialist from the Bureau of Epidemiology, Department of Disease Control.

Dr Jakkarat arrived with his team on Phi Phi Island on June 20 to collect evidence needed to discern the exact cause of the sisters’ deaths.

However, he said that only after his team had compared their findings against the postmortem examination results would they submit a report to the Krabi Provincial Office and Krabi Public Health Office.

Maj Gen Boontawee today took the opportunity to defend the efforts by police in their investigation into the women’s deaths.

“What the foreign media have said about Thai Police ignoring the case, trying to hide the news and allowing an important witness to leave the country is not true.

“I want to explain to the public that we have already done our best at every step of the investigation, but we still have yet to determine the cause of the death,” he said.

Maj Gen Boontawee said that police realized that, “the Portuguese friend of the two sisters who stayed at the same hotel and carried them into their room is a significant witness who might have information that could reveal what caused their deaths.”

However, he added, “By the time police reviewed the CCTV footage on June 16, it was too late to track down the man. He left the country on June 17 because his visa had expired.”

Maj Gen Boontawee did not elaborate on what further steps police had taken in order to contact the man.

According to a report by the Toronto Sun, Audrey and Noemi are to be buried this Saturday, June 30.

The results of independent autopsies conducted in Montreal, in their home province of Quebec, have yet to be announced.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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