Thailand Stumped as DNA Clears 12 in Tourist Slayings

Cops 'really don't know where to look now'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2014 7:44 AM CDT
The bodies of slain British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller are delivered to a forensic police facility in Bangkok, Thailand, on Sept. 16, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
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(Newser) – DNA tests have thrown Thai authorities a goose egg in their quest to solve the savage murders of two British tourists. Semen from two different men was found on the body of 23-year-old Hannah Witheridge, reports the BBC, but analysis revealed that while both sets matched DNA pulled from a cigarette butt found nearby—indicating that the suspects shared a smoke, notes the Bangkok Post—neither was a match for fellow victim David Miller, 24; his British roommate; or 11 Burmese migrants who had been questioned. With all suspects eliminated, the BBC's correspondent says police "really don't know where to look now. The impression we got from a police press conference [today] was they haven't really made much progress at all."

A Briton who lives in Bangkok tells the BBC that the targeting of "foreigners or the immigrants" by police mirrors how police reacted to a similar slaying of a British woman in 2000. "We've had a week of toing and froing between British suspects and Burmese immigrant suspects and now we find out that ... the DNA doesn't match anybody," he says. Meanwhile, the AP notes that Thai PM Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha has walked back his statement that beautiful people in bikinis should have no expectation of safety, saying today he had "spoken too harshly. I didn't mean to criticize or look down on anyone."

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