Two tourists found murdered in Thailand beach; woman possibly raped

Two British tourists were found brutally murdered on a normally tranquil and paradise-like beach in the island of Koh Tao in Thailand on Monday September 15.

Their bodies were discovered between 4:00 and 5:00 am. The female victim was identified as Hannah Witheridge, 23, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. The police believes she may have been raped, too. Found alongside her is the murdered body of her male companion, David Miller, 24, from Jersey.

Investigators found a blood-stained garden hoe nearby which is thought to be the murder weapon.

According to the island police chief, Col. Prachum Ruangthong, the man sustained fatal chop wounds on the back and on the side of his head while the woman was chopped on her face. The police official described the crime as “very gruesome” and said they are now checking closed circuit television from nearby bars and restaurants for clues that could help in the investigation.

It was not immediately clear whether the victims are a couple, but is reported to have met only three days before the murder. They have travelled separately to the island with their own set of friends and is said to have joined only after they met at a seaside hotel where they both stayed.

Locals said the two are among the 50 people who joined the Full Moon, a popular beach party in the island-paradise. The victims were last seen leaving a bar together around 1:00 am. Their bodies were found just about a hundred meters away from the scene of the party.

The woman was found half-naked, with only her bikini top; leading investigators to initially assume she may have been raped before she was killed.

Suspect a friend of the male victim

Investigators are now looking for a British male friend of victim David Miller who, police said, have disappeared right after the killing. While they have declined to name the man, Col. Prachum Ruangthong said “it is a matter of urgency” that they have to talk to the man, now considered to be the main suspect. (Click here to read more)

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