KOH TAO – A reward of more than Bt 700,00 is now being offered in the murders of David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, as Thai police bungle along trying to find the killers of two British tourists.
Now a group of Thais who had been playing football have become the latest to be questioned by detectives.
DNA samples have been taken from “more than eight” of the group who reportedly threw a party at the nightclub where the victims spent their final hours.
Colonel Kissana Phathanacharoen said “We’re trying to narrow our inquiries and collect more evidence. We’re encouraging the public who may have information to come forward,” he said.
“We’re checking DNA but this is not the only thing we are looking at to prosecute the suspects.”
Thailand’s government says it will install more surveillance cameras nationwide and better lighting in major tourist areas after the murders of two British tourists on a resort island.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters Thursday he has ordered the Interior Ministry, Bangkok’s city government and police to install the surveillance cameras and improve lighting.
He said authorities are urgently investigating the case, which critics charge has been bungled by police.
The Bangkok Post reported “The police investigation into the murders of the two Britons has been going in circles, with many theories advanced and discarded, suspects named by the media and then cleared. Parts of the crime scene were trampled by rescue teams and reporters, and officers did not even search the rooms of the victims until two days after the event”.
Police so far have taken 209 DNA samples for testing, including 30 new samples, according to Pol Gen Jarumporn Suramanee, who is a top forensic expert. The results of 179 samples did not match those found at the crime scene.
Panya Mamen, chief of Provincial Police Region 8, said the results of another 30 samples could be available on Saturday night after tests at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bangkok.
However, despite the vast sample collection, detectives have yet to identify the suspects. Their best clue is that more than one person was involved in the killings.
Pol Lt Gen Panya said investigators had narrowed down possible suspects to 20 and reiterated police were confident of success.
Deputy government spokesman Col Sansern Kaewkumnerd appealed to the public not to put pressure on investigators as all steps needed to be conducted thoroughly in order to prevent mistakes.