Thailand says no DNA match yet for slain Britons

AP News
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Posted: Sep 17, 2014 12:16 PM
Thailand says no DNA match yet for slain Britons

BANGKOK (AP) — Police in Thailand said Wednesday that DNA samples from the bodies of two British tourists found bludgeoned on a resort island did not match any collected from 12 people who were among those in the area.

Police also conducted autopsies which showed that 23-year-old Hannah Witheridge died from head wounds while 24-year-old David Miller suffered severe blows to the head and drowned in the surf, said Maj. Gen. Pornchai Suteerakune, the country's forensics police chief.

Pornchai said Miller also had wounds on his hand, indicating a struggle had taken place.

The two Britons were found Monday morning in a rocky alcove along the shore close to the hotel where they both were staying on Koh Tao. A bloodied hoe was found near the bodies.

Authorities have made no arrests so far but are hoping to be able to match DNA samples.

However, assistant national police chief Gen. Jarumporn Suramanee said two sets of DNA that were found both on Witheridge's body and on a cigarette butt near the scene did not match samples taken from three foreigners and nine migrant workers in the area.

DNA traces from possible suspects could not be detected on Miller's body because it was smeared with his blood, Jarumporn said.

He said investigators believe there was more than one attacker and more than one murder weapon.

Koh Tao is a popular diving destination in the Gulf of Thailand, and the brutal deaths were a blow to the country's tourism industry, which has struggled in the wake of six months of political protests that culminated in a military coup in May.

More than 70 police officers have been deployed to the island to investigate the case.