Police Name Yarmouth Woman Murdered In Thailand
15 September 2014, 18:02
Authorities have named a 23 year old woman from Great Yarmouth who was found murdered on a beach in Thailand, as Hannah Witheridge.
She was killed along with 24 year old David Miller, from Jersey on the divers' paradise island of Koh Toa.
A manhunt is now under way for a backpacker who is suspected of murdering the pair, who were found semi-naked according to reports. The Daily Telegraph claims a local police chief has said a British man who may have known the male victim had left the island.
A blood-stained hoe, believed to be the murder weapon was found nearby.
Locals were reported to have blockaded Koh Tao's only pier to prevent the killer escaping. His name has been circulated to police but not given to the media.
The British authorities were aware of reports about the suspect and a source said they were "looking into them urgently".
It is not thought the victims were a couple, but had met recently on the island.
Their bodies were found on a rocky section of the shore around 100m from the scene of a beach party.
Police Colonel Prachum Ruangthong said: "The man was chopped in the back and on the side of his head, while the woman was chopped in her face.
"It's very gruesome."
Investigators were checking CCTV from local bars and restaurants at the usually-peaceful destination, known for its turquoise seas.
Its bright coral, sharks and rays bring in divers, hikers enjoy jungle walks and the bar scene ``rages on until dawn'', according to the Lonely Planet travel guide.
Norfolk Police has referred all inquiries to the Foreign Office, while States of Jersey Police said family liaison officers were working with the family and close relatives of the dead man.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are aware of the death of two British nationals on 15 September on the island of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand. The Embassy are urgently seeking information from the local authorities and Consular staff stand ready to provide assistance to friends and family at this tragic time.
"The Consul from Bangkok is travelling to Koh Tao as soon as possible."