Thailand beach murders: British man being questioned after brutal killing of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller

Thai police have said there are 'a number of possible suspects'

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The Independent Online

Police investigating the killing of two young tourists in Thailand have reportedly questioned a British man believed to have shared a room with one of the murdered backpackers.

The man, who was allowed to leave the island of Koh Tao on Tuesday after being spoken to by police, returned at the request of officers who wanted to question him further and take a DNA sample, according to Sky News.

“After this evening everything will become clear,” Prachum Ruangthong, the head of police on Koh Tao, where the murder took place, told the Daily Telegraph.

Police have said there are a number of possible suspects for the killing of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, whose battered bodies were found in the early hours of Monday morning. The bodies of the Britons have been flown to Bangkok for forensic tests.

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Officers have stressed they want to question a Asian man captured on CCTV running in the direction where the bodies of the young tourists were later discovered. They have also said they wanted to question a musician who performed in the bars, and members of the bar staff.

Dozens of officers have been scouring Koh Tao, speaking to locals, foreign visitors and migrant workers form Burma. At least six migrant workers were questioned and later released as part of the inquiry.

The partly naked bodies of the two tourists were found less than 100 metres from the location of where the beach party had been held on Sunday night. Police said a blood-stained hoe was found near the bodies and officers suspect it was the murder weapon.

Mr Miller, from Jersey, and Ms Witheridge, from Great Yarmouth, had travelled to the island separately. Ms Witheridge, who was doing post-graduate work at the the University of Essex in Colchester, was travelling with three female friends and had only arrived on Koh Tao, or Turtle Island, three days ago.

Both she and Mr Miller were staying at the Ocean View Bungalows. Mr Ware was sharing a room with Mr Miller.

On Tuesday, the families of the Britons paid tribute in statements issued through the British government. The family of Ms Witheridge, whose Facebook page suggested she had a keen interest in horses, described her as a “a beautiful, intelligent, loving young woman who poured joy into the lives of all who knew her”.

They added: “She was selfless and caring and made each and every day that little bit more wonderful.”

Mr Miller, from Jersey, was studying civil and structural engineering at Leeds University. He had completed an internship in Australia and was spending some weeks traveling in South East Asia. He had been due to leave Thailand on Tuesday.

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A Thai villager lays flowers during a memorial service for two murdered British tourists on Koh Tao island

“David was an artist by temperament, so talented,” said his family. “He had a creative eye that he carried with him through life and in his degree.”

Meanwhile, the Thai general who seized power in a coup earlier this year, said he was concerned the crime could affect the country’s image. Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, who now styles himself Prime Minister after he was appointed by a hand-picked parliament, said foreign tourists should be aware that Thailand could be dangerous at times.

“What [the media] needs to do is explain to foreigners that it is not always safe everywhere,” he told a press conference. “They think it’s safe like where they are from, everywhere and at any time, but our country still has problems.”