As Tributes Pour In For Murdered UK Backpackers In Thailand It’s Revealed The Suspect Is A British Tourist

Yesterday morning, two backpackers were found dead on a beach in Koh Tao, Thailand. Police have confirmed they're looking for a British suspect and believe it may have been one of the victims' friends.


by Stevie Martin |
Published on

Grim news overnight as it's been confirmed that a UK man and woman, Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, were beaten to death on the island of Koh Tao with a garden hoe. Tests have been sent off after fears that Witheridge, 23, had also been raped. Police believe that that the suspect, one of Miller's friends, may not have been able to leave the island due to bad weather conditions, so a full-scale manhunt has been launched.

Thought to have been at a 50-strong tourist beach party before the tragedy occurred, the backpackers were found half naked on Sairee beach at 6.30am yesterday morning. Both sustained horrific head injuries.

Police are also searching for another one of David Miller's friends who left the island within hours of the double murder, but they've been clear not to name him as a suspect at this point. Witheridge had been travelling with three female friends and only met Miller, who was travelling with two male companions, hours before they were murdered close to the Ocean View resort where the two groups had been staying. It's thought they'd all made plans to spend Sunday night at a bar together.


Witheridge, according to her social media profiles, had recently graduated in education studies from the University Of East Anglia and begun a languages Masters degree at the University Of Essex. She'd only just arrived in Thailand for a holiday with friends to break up her studies. As seems to be the way these days, a Facebook account to commemorate the 23-year-old's life has already been set up, featuring a tribute video posted by her friends.

While there are no official Foreign Office warnings for Koh Tao - and a spokeswoman for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in London is going as far as to say the incident is 'out of character' for an island that was 'much loved for its quaint atmosphere,' they also point out that while the island – famous for it's diving – has a population only of about 2,100 it's visited by between 400,000 and 500,000 travellers per year. Perhaps another reason why the authorities there are urgently seeking answers for this as-yet unexplained death.

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Follow Stevie at @5tevieM

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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