herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Two confess to the murder of couple on holiday island

Two Burmese immigrant workers have confessed to killing two young British tourists on a Thai holiday island last month, police have said.

The battered bodies of Hannah Witheridge (23) and David Miller (24) were discovered on a beach on Koh Tao on September 15.

Post-mortem examinations revealed that Ms Witheridge, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, died from head wounds, while Mr Miller, from Jersey, was killed by severe blows to the head and drowning.

A bloodstained garden hoe was later found near the scene of the murders.

Major General Kiattipong Khawsamang said that two of three Burmese workers questioned by police admitted murdering the couple. He said the other man denied involvement.

Police have previously said they believe three people were involved in the attacks.

Speaking to the Bangkok Post, Lieutenant General Panya Mamen, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 8, said: "Two of the suspects raped and killed Witheridge while another one witnessed the murder."

Officers have collected 200 DNA samples from people on the island after two different semen samples were obtained from Miss Witheridge's body.

Lieutenant General Jaktip Chaijinda said police will wait for the results of DNA tests from the suspects to see if they match the samples.

Mr Miller's father, Ian, has said he believes his son stepped in to help Miss Witheridge.

Last wee k, police colonel Kissana Phathanacharoen said a reward of 700,000 baht - roughly €17,000 - was being offered for information leading to the arrests of the killers.

Around 150 police officers were posted to Koh Tao as part of the murder investigation.

hnews@herald.ie

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