WALES– Sue Jones the mother of a young woman murdered while travelling in Chiang Mai 13 years ago remains optimistic that her daughter’s killer will be caught.
Kirsty Jones, 23, from mid Wales, was raped and strangled at a guesthouse in Chiang Mai in 2000. The Liverpool University graduate was just three months into a two-year around the world trip.
Despite numerous public appeals as well as a £10,000 reward, her killer still remains on the loose. On the 13th anniversary of her daughter’s death Sue Jones said she refuses to give up hope.
Officers from Dyfed Powys Police have been helping Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and last year uncovered a DNA profile at the murder scene. DSI officials also plan to travel to the UK to re-interview witnesses who were staying in Chiang Mai at the time.
Mrs Jones said: “I will not give up on Kirsty, she is my first born and my daughter and she deserves justice. I want to find out what happened to Kirsty that night and who killed her. I don’t suppose I ever will know why, but as her mother I believe that there remain many unanswered questions and stages of the investigation that need to be followed up and thoroughly investigated by the Thai authorities.”
Farmer’s daughter Ms Jones grew up in the small village of Tredomen in picturesque Brecon, Powys. In her teens, the music festival fan long harboured dreams of seeing the world and had decided from the age of 14 she had wanted to take a gap year before going to university.
That dream became a reality four years later, in 1996, when Ms Jones set off for Australia – which saw her stop off in Thailand on her way home. After a safe and successful trip, the bright A-level student had fallen in love with travelling.
After completing an English and media studies degree at Liverpool University in 1999, Ms Jones spent a year doing odd jobs to fund her next big trip. She had planned a two-year global adventure taking in Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand before finishing in South America.
By July 23, Ms Jones had headed 435 miles north of Bangkok to the well-known trekking hub Chiang Mai – going on jungle hikes, riding elephants and visiting hill tribes. But a month later her parents had to be told – while on holiday in Benidorm – that their daughter had been raped and strangled to death.
Despite a series of arrests, no-one has faced justice for her murder.