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Pattaya Daily News

12 August 2007 :: 11:08:37 am 43393


THE mother of a 23-year-old Welsh backpacker murdered in Thailand has spoken of the need to keep the case in the public eye, said she is "positive" the killer will be brought to justice.
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Kirsty Jones, 23, of Brecon, Mid Wales, was strangled while staying at a guesthouse in Chiang Mai, , on August 10, 2000.
No one has yet been brought to justice, despite extensive publicity surrounding the case in Thailand and the UK.
Although Welsh and Thai police have established a DNA profile of their suspect, believed to be of South-East Asian origin, they still have no match.

Her mother Sue said she believed state-of-the-art DNA testing technology in the UK could help detectives make a vital breakthrough in the case. There was extensive publicity in the UK and Thailand following Miss Jones’ death and The Royal Thai Police have since carried out three inquiries.

The Liverpool University graduate was just three months into a two-year round-the-world trip when she was murdered at a 70 baht-a- night guesthouse in north Thailand.

Mrs Jones said “The first time she went off to Australia between A-levels and university worried me to death. She was just 19, but it was the best education she ever had and she learned so much as far as life skills were concerned.”

“I think because this has happened to us, a farming family from a farming community in Wales, people realised it could happen to anybody.”

“It would mean justice for Kirsty more than anything, and the feeling that I haven’t let her down in some way. I think about her every day. It’s probably easier to think about her now, but there are times when it’s very, very difficult to think about her,”

Mrs Jones said she was hopeful the Royal Thai Police would agree to return some of her daughter’s belongings to the UK for further forensic testing at some point this year.

She said: “DNA testing does move on so quickly. I know Kirsty’s sarong was tested in this country, but that was a couple of years ago.”

Mrs Jones admitted she had never expected her daughter’s killer to still be at large seven years on, but she was reluctant to criticise the Thai authorities.
“The Royal Thai Police are doing all that they can do within their capabilities,” she said.
“The hardest thing to deal with is the pace that they investigate, which is incredibly slow but they do a very thorough job. I remain positive.”

Roger Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, said: “I do despair at the present moment that the Thai police will ever commit enough resources and energy to get a result.
“I believe that it’s quite possible to get a person charged and convicted of this terrible crime. “But the way the Thai police are approaching it at the moment, I don’t think that is going to take place.”
The BBC Wales news website has tried to contact the Thai embassy for a response but has been unable to get one.

In September 2001, Kirsty’s family expressed frustration at the way Thai police had carried out a worldwide search of DNA databases at which point Dyfed-Powys Police became involved. Two years later, the force was asked to interview a number of key witnesses in Britain, and international crime agency Interpol carried out a worldwide search of DNA databases.

A British man was arrested for her rape and murder but later released after two-and-a-half months in custody.

The murder investigation by Thai police has been criticised as slipshod to amateurish.

The original chief investigator was takenoff the case and the regional police chief who was in charge of the investigation then retired.

Police originally took DNA tests from 14 suspects but none of them matched samples found on Ms Jones’s body.

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Crime News

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