Posted 15 June 2017 - 01:39
The Family of Luke Miller, who was found dead on Koh Tao in 2016, have vowed to get justice after an open conclusion was reached at the inquest into his death yesterday.
Luke Miller, a bricklayer, was found dead at the bottom of a swimming pool on Sairee Beach, he had spent the previous evening with friends.
The post mortem in Thailand revealed that he had suffered head injuries and drowned, however the UK Home Office examination described the cause of death as unascertained.
Koh Tao has gained a bad reputation for unexplained deaths in recent years. Luke’s death came only mothers after the grisly murders of British backpackers Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24 British Christina Annesley, 23, was also found dead on the island in 2015, another Brit, Nick Pearson died in mysterious circumstances in 2014, neither Christina’s family or that of Nick were satisfied with the police investigation.
Questions were asked over the death of Dimitri Povse on 2015, when he was found hanged with his hands tied behind his back. This year Russian Valentina Novozhyonova went missing, never to be seen again. The seemingly endless and often unexplained deaths have led to the island being dubbed ‘Death Island’.
Nicola and James Gissing, who were holidaying with Luke when he died made exhaustive efforts to get information from the Thai police. Mr Gissing and other friends of Mr Miller are convinced he was murdered. Luke’s family have been supported by the Island-based Lucie Blackman Trust in their quest for information.
Matt Searle, the chief executive of the trust which supports families of those missing or who have died abroad, was at the inquest with the family including Luke’s mum, Sara, and his stepfather Mike Cotton.
Mr Searle said after the inquest: “This case highlights the difference in the way cases are investigated in this country and in Thailand where the police are under-funded and often seemingly disinterested.
“I will continue to support the family efforts.”
Posted 15 June 2017 - 15:49
p.s. Looks like the Samui Times has fired all of their native English speaking subs.
Posted 24 June 2017 - 22:08
On the 15th of February 2017 Russian tourist Valentina Novozhyonova, 23, left her bungalow on Koh Tao and was never seen again. The news of the young girl’s disappearance took almost 3 weeks to emerge from the tiny island now being dubbed ‘Death Island’ by the press due to the extraordinary number of tourists who die in suspicious circumstances while holidaying there.
When it comes to strange goings on the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Valentia is no exception. While the residents of Koh Tao are appalled at the new nickname for the chunk of rock they call home, it is hardly surprising ‘Turtle Island’ has a bad reputation when it takes three weeks for a search to be called when a young backpacker goes missing. A post on the Koh Tao community page on Facebook even states that news of the missing girl should be supressed to protect the already dwindling reputation of the island. And now rumours are circulating that the body of a young girl was found six weeks ago partially burnt, eaten by animals and partially wrapped in T-shirts. Unsurprisingly this information was never made public and never appeared in any police report and was never passed on to Valentina’s grieving family who have been told that the search for the girl still continues, despite there being no evidence to suggest that it is.
Like many other cases in the past news reports suggested the girl’s disappearance was likely her own fault. Reports suggested this keen free-diver had never dived in the Open Ocean before, that she was depressed, taking medications and was perhaps mentally unstable. Should these reports be based on facts then waiting three weeks to start looking for her is only the more unfathomable. Another report suggested the girl had a dive buddy who had left the island, the police said they were waiting to interview the man on his return, but then the reports went silent, leading some to wonder if he ever existed in the first place and if he did why no attempt was made to find him and question him as to the young girls whereabouts.
But shoddy investigation is nothing new for Death Island. When the police got a call from a woman to say there were two dead bodies on the beach back in 2014 they didn’t even bother to ask for her name. The bodies belonged to Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, who were both bludgeoned to death. The world heaved a sigh of relief when the local head police man soon had CCTV evidence linking two men to the crime, one, the brother of the village headman was even arrested but Montriwat Tuwichavin was very soon released, coincidentally around the same time the very same policeman was taken off the case and posted elsewhere in Thailand. The police then focussed their attention on two tiny Burmese Migrant Workers who had no motive, no criminal history and no money to hire lawyers to defend themselves. They were arrested three weeks after the crime much to the astonishment of the general public who could not fathom why anybody who had committed a crime so heinous had stuck around. The men were subsequently charged and sentenced to death. They are currently on death row awaiting the outcome of an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Another British girl, Christina Marian Annesley was also found dead a few weeks later. She was a young journalist who had been staying bungalows eerily owned by Montriwat Tuwichavin, the man who stomped all over the murder scene of Hannah and David, despite having no reason to be there. He also threatened to kill Scottish Sean McAnna just after the murders saying he would hang himself and was responsible for the deaths. Sean fled the island, never to return. Had the Burmese boys been guilty one has to ask why Montriwat was as Sean described ‘looking for a scape-goat’.
Residents of Koh Tao often blame the press for the ever darkening reputation of the island, it seems not to occur to them that the inordinate death toll and endless shoddy police work is perhaps to blame. The parents of Christina certainly do not believe her death was adequately investigated and had, themselves, to contact the last person who saw her alive when the police did not bother to do so. The parents of Nick Pearson do not believe their son feel out of his bed, fell 50 feet over huge bounders and drowned without so much as a broken bone or bruise on his body and many people question how French born Dimeti Povse managed to hang himself in a shoelace with his hands tied behind his back, eerily the same fate that Sean McAnna was offered.
The travel companions of Luke Miller do not believe he died after launching himself off at DJ booth into a swimming pool in front of nobody when he did not swim and cannot fathom how such and would result in obvious hand print shaped bruises on his shoulders.
Most people have forgotten about Hans Peter Suter, a qualified rescue diver and Divemaster who went snorkelling around the time of the deaths of Hannah and David and washed up dead several weeks later on the mainland. They also forget that two other bodies washed up around the same time, who were they if they were not Peter? Nobody knows, nobody cares and nobody is looking into it.
Rumours also circulated that the young girl who found the bodies of Hannah and David and made that call to the police was found dead on a rubbish dump in Koh Tao, along with two other Burmese.
Of course rumours are not evidence, but there is also no smoke without fire. The general opinion of Koh Tao is now that it is a dangerous place rife with crime, run by mafia and policed by bribe-able officers who have a well-earned reputation for shoddy investigations, lying to the press, contaminating crime scenes and evidence and covering up anything that might damage the reputation of the island. The press in Thailand generally blur over vital information in fear of being sued under draconian laws that prevent them from criticizing the police and dozens of families are left unable to ever get closure as the list of deceased simply continues to rise.
Perhaps rather than blaming the press the residents of Koh Tao should speak out about what is really going on, stop saying they have to live there and therefor are too afraid to tell the truth, and find a place to live where life is valued, justice is served and the death toll is not hundreds of times higher than any other tourist destination known to man and innocent men are blamed for hideous crimes while the real killers run free!
Posted 25 June 2017 - 03:23
Posted 29 June 2017 - 20:17
Elise Dallemange, 30, was found half-eaten by lizards on Koh Tao. Photo / via Facebook
A Belgian backpacker who visited New Zealand has become the latest tourist found dead on a notorious Thai island where seven others have died in the past three years.
Elise Dallemange, 30, was found half-eaten by lizards on Koh Tao back in April with police claiming she hanged herself, the Daily Mail reported.
But mother Michele van Egten says she does not believe that version of events amid fears authorities are working to suppress a series of grisly tourist murders.
In the most high-profile case, Britons Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were killed as they walked along a beach to their hotel rooms back in 2014.
Of all the deaths, theirs were the only ones to be investigated as murder after a public outcry. Four others were ruled suicides, while a Russian woman has still not been found after vanishing in February.
Michele made the details of her daughter's death public while appealing for information, saying the case would have gone unnoticed otherwise.
She told magazine Der Farang that she had been promised an autopsy report by investigators that had failed to materialise.
Michele said: "I do not believe what the police have told us. We fear somebody else was involved.
"We're more and more thinking that the police information is not the right explanation."
Michele revealed that Elise had been travelling around Asia for the last two years, and before her death had been living at a yoga and tantra retreat on Koh Phangan.
She was also part of the Sathya Sai Baba cult and lived with a self-proclaimed "guru". She left the island on April 17 to return to her native Belgium, Michele said.
But on April 28 she was found dead in the jungle in Koh Tao.
Phone records show that Elise called her mother on Skype on April 17 before leaving on a Ferry April 19 - but it is not known why she alighted on Koh Tao instead of continuing on to the mainland.
Michele claims that Elise used a fake name of "Elise Dubuis" to check into the Triple B Bungalows next to Mae Head Pier on Koh Tao as she travelled via the island on a ferry bound for Chumphon province on her route back to capital Bangkok.
But an unexplained fire that evening burned down three bamboo huts - including the one Elise had been staying in.
Elise fled 2.5km to through the jungle to Tanote Bay and took a room at the Poseidon Resort where she booked another ticket for Bangkok leaving on April 24.
Eight days later locals living near the island's idyllic Tanote Bay found Elsie's body after becoming suspicious of a monitor lizard going back and forth into the jungle.
They followed the animal and discovered that it had been feeding on Elise's remains, which were found among rocks behind the Tanote Family Bay Resort.
The backpacker had to be identified using dental records and previous X-rays.
Police told Elise's mother Michele that her daughter had committed suicide around three days before she was found.
But no suicide note or message were recovered and Michele is desperate for information surrounding the mysterious death.
Elise's bags appear to have been loaded onto the ferry she was due to take, and arrived at Chumphon province where she should have caught a bus to the capital.
Michele says police told her that Elise had been wrapped in old T-shirts or cotton shawls while an empty fuel bottle was found next to her.
An autopsy was performed in Surat Thani Hospital and later by the Institute of Forensic Medicine Police Hospital, Bangkok, and Elise was cremated 14 days later.
Michele said: "Too many things show us that someone is involved. Police told us that Elise hanged herself up in the jungle. I cannot accept why my daughter should have killed herself.
"She was normal in the last conversation and no signs of depression were visible.
"I don't know why she would have booked a transfer to Bangkok and then went into the jungle to commit suicide.
"I am devastated by events. I am still waiting for the final autopsy report. We just want more information.
"My daughter had been travelling for two and a half years in India, Australia and New Zealand and always back again to Thailand.
"She lived there for months with Guru Raaman Andreas from Germany and two female friends."
The death on Koh Tao is the latest in a number of cases involving foreigners.
In March Russian tourist Valentina Novozhyonova, 23, vanished from her hostel on Koh Tao and has still not been found.
Bricklayer Luke Miller from the Isle of Wight was found dead in a swimming pool on January 8 2016 and an inquest earlier this month found "no evidence" he was murdered.
British holidaymaker Christina Annesley, 23, died on the island in January 2015 after apparently mixing antibiotics she was taking for a chest infection with alcohol.
But her parents slammed Thai police for failing to properly investigate the death.
Frenchman Dimitri Povse, 29, was found hanged in a bungalow on the island on New Year's Day 2015 and his death was ruled as suicide despite his hands being tied behind his back.
In the most high-profile case, Brits Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were murdered as they walked back to their hotel rooms in September 2014.
On New Year's Day 2014, 25-year-old Nick Pearson, from Derby, was found floating in the sea and his parents believe he was murdered - despite police claims he fell 50ft and drowned.
Posted 30 June 2017 - 01:59
Posted 01 July 2017 - 00:49
Crime scene contaminated
Jim Morrison (The Doors): "Well...yes...sometimes."
Posted 01 July 2017 - 03:53
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.
The officers were also told to re-examine the CCTV footages for more clues.
He said he expected an update of the report about the case in three days.
Doesn't the Mother know, that if she visits Koh Tao, she'll run the risk of Suicide too? The Thai Police know well, that suicide runs in the family, especially of Farang...
Posted 02 July 2017 - 00:26
Jim Morrison (The Doors): "Well...yes...sometimes."
Posted 02 July 2017 - 22:32
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