Phuket Media Watch: Body found on British Queen’s estate; Missing journalist believed dead


– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Body at Queen’s estate identified as missing teenager
Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Human remains which were found on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in eastern England on New Year’s Day have been identified as a missing 17-year-old girl, police said yesterday.

The remains were found by a member of the public at around 11pm Phuket time on New Year’s Day in an area of woodland at Anmer, a tiny village which is part of Sandringham estate in Norfolk county. The investigation later turned into a murder investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry, of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team who is leading the investigation, said on Sunday that the remains have been identified as 17-year-old Alisa Dmitrijeva. She had been missing from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire since August 31, although she was not reported missing until September 6.

It took police nearly a week to confirm the girl’s identity as earlier tests to establish a DNA profile proved inconclusive. “Following initial tests to obtain a full DNA profile, identification of the victim has been made by comparing detail from her palm with records held which have been further verified by DNA from her femur,” police said.

Fry said his department would start working with officers in Cambridgeshire who have been trying to locate Dmitrijeva in recent months. “The information they provide will give me and the team an extra focus to the inquiry,” he said. “I should also add we are still trying to establish any activity which took place on or around the site during the time frame of the end of August to the end of September 2011.”

Dmitrijeva’s family was informed of the news on Sunday morning. “We are devastated by the news of Alisa’s death. We wish to grieve in private,” the family said in a brief statement.

The case has attracted worldwide attention as Dmitrijeva was found in an area which is part of Sandringham estate used by the British royal family to spend some of its holidays, including the recent Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Body found in Ivory Coast may be missing French-Canadian journalist
Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Skeletal remains were unearthed in a town in the western region of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) on Friday, state-run media reported on Saturday. The remains are believed to belong to a missing French-Canadian journalist.

The state-owned Agence Ivoirienne de Presse (AIP) said the remains were discovered on Friday in a village near the town of Issia, which is located in the Haut-Sassandra Region in western Ivory Coast. Authorities believe the remains belong to journalist Guy-Andre Kieffer, who went missing in Abidjan in April 2004.

Bernard Kieffer, the brother of the missing reporter, told French media that DNA samples were taken and are being flown to France for analysis. The remains were taken to Abidjan, the country’s economic capital, where Ivorian investigators will examine the remains.

French Judge Patrick Ramael, who is in charge of the French investigation, was present at the site.

According to AIP, the body was found to have been buried under parts of a bridge near a river. Authorities were led to the site by an informant who said he saw the body when it was being buried, but few other details were immediately released.

“We are still a long way from finding out exactly what happened to Kieffer,” Reporters Without Borders said in a statement following Saturday’s announcement. “If it is turns out that the remains are Kieffer’s, confirming that he was murdered and then buried after his abduction, the identity of those who gave the orders and those who carried it out still has to be established. Who killed him? Why? Several persons suspected of being involved have never been detained.”

Kieffer went missing on April 16, 2004, while following leads on a government corruption story he was preparing. His investigation is believed to have angered senior officials in the government of president Laurent Gbagbo, who was ousted last year following an election defeat that led to the Second Ivorian Civil War. Gbagbo’s government at the time denied any involvement.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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