KOH TAO – The mother of a Belgian woman who was found dead on Koh Tao on April 27 plans to arrive in Bangkok to find out the real cause of her daughter’s death after police on the popular island insisted that the victim committed suicide by hanging herself to death.
Michele van Egten, mother of 30-year old Elise Dallemagne, has persistently refused to buy the police’s claim of suicide. She has appealed to anyone who has information about her daughter’s movements before her death to come forward. She also claimed that she has never received the autopsy report as promised by the police.
Earlier, Mrs Egten posted a message on “Agama Community Phangan” Facebook group page on June 26, asking anyone who knows Elise to contact her. Koh Phangan, also in Surat Thani province, is located near Koh Tao where Elise was found dead.
“Please respect the following question : about Elise, just write to me in private if you are a friend of her or maybe a witness of what happened to her. The police investigation is not finished and we are still waiting for the autopsy report. Thank to all of you,” she wrote.
Another message was posted on June 20. It reads: “What happened to Elise Dallemagne? She died on Kho Tao between the 19th of april and the 27th of april. Thank you all to give us some informations.”
Pol Lt-Col Chokechai Sutthimek, an inquiry officer attached to Koh Tao sub-station, reiterated Thursday that Dallemagne hanged herself to death to a tree and her body was found 5-6 days after her death.
He said that autopsy conducted by the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the Police General Hospital confirmed the victim died of suffocation from hanging. He claimed that he had informed the Belgian embassy in Bangkok and the victim’s mother about the autopsy report.
Pol Col Wichob Kerdkliang, deputy commander of Surat Thani provincial police, said he had instructed officers in charge of investigating case to try to find additional evidences, including witness accounts as well as forensic evidences, which could help clear any doubt about the case.
Meanwhile, Investigators from Bangkok are on their way to Koh Tao to look into the mysterious death of a Belgian tourist on the resort island in April.
Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, the national police chief, ordered the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) to look into the case of Elise Dallemagne, after her mother expressed strong disbelief at the local police finding that she had hanged herself.
Pol Maj Gen Pornchai Sutheerakun, director of the Institute of Forensic Science, said on Friday that the institute had forwarded the autopsy report to Koh Tao police for the reopened investigation.
At least seven foreign tourists have died on Koh Tao over the past four years, some in strange or unexplained circumstsnces. The most notorious case involved the slayings of British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller in 2014. Two labourers from Myanmar were convicted and sentenced to death — the case remains under appeal — after a widely criticised police investigation.
Source: Thai PBS, Bangkok Post