Thai police claim they know who murdered Briton

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The Independent Online

Police in Thailand claimed yesterday that they knew who had murdered the backpacker Kirsty Jones, whose body is being flown home today.

Police in Thailand claimed yesterday that they knew who had murdered the backpacker Kirsty Jones, whose body is being flown home today.

Detectives say they have interviewed the suspect extensively and are waiting for results of DNA tests before bringing charges within the next seven days.

Surin Chanpranet, the manager of the £1-a-night Aree guesthouse at Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, where Ms Jones, 23, was raped and strangled, was yesterday taken back to the police station for further questioning.

The move came after alleged inconsistencies emerged between his version of how Ms Jones's body was found and that of a maid at the hostel. The maid had originally told police she had discovered the murder at 4pm on Thursday, but later changed her mind and said Mr Chanpranet had made the discovery himself at 11am.

As he was led into the police interview room, Mr Chanpranet denied having anything to do with the killing. He was later taken to hospital for tests; the police apparently wanted another sample of body hair.

Ms Jones, of Tredomen, near Brecon, Powys, was found only partly clothed with a sarong tied around her neck. Her body was collected for the return home by an official from the British embassy yesterday.

At Chiang Mai's Maharaj University hospital, DNA tests began on samples from eight suspects in the murder inquiry. Police say they are depending on the DNA results after blood tests proved inconclusive. They should be available by Friday.

The samples had been taken from six tourists and two local men. Detectives had initially stated that Ms Jones was killed by a Caucasian, but they are now concentrating their investigation on two Thai suspects.

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