Thai police 'close to making arrest' in backpacker murder

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Police in Thailand working to solve the murder of backpacking student, Katherine Horton, are close to making an arrest .

A British couple who found Ms Horton's mobile phone abandoned on a beach have provided the police with vital clues. Last night, the Britons retraced their steps along the Koh Samui beach where they found the phone.

Reports have suggested the couple saw Ms Horton, 21, pass them as they took an evening stroll before later finding her phone.

Police now have a shortlist of suspects and could make an arrest this week.

"We have enough detail to start searching suspects and next week maybe we can apply for arrest warrants," said the officer who is among more than 100 now working on the case.

The Nation newspaper reported yesterday that the Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, was saying that police now have clues to identify those responsible for the Briton's death.

Ms Horton, a student at Reading University went missing after wandering on to a beach to take a call from her mother Elizabeth on New Year's Day. Her body was discovered on the shoreline the following day.

Police are investigating whether Ms Horton was raped before she was beaten and left to die.