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Last Updated: Friday, 3 June, 2005, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Tsunami victim's body identified
Leanne Cox
Leanne arrived in Thailand just before Christmas
The body of a British backpacker who went missing after the Asian tsunami has been identified, police say.

Leanne Cox, 23, from Hartlepool, arrived in Thailand before Christmas and was last seen on Koh Phi Phi before the water swept in on Boxing Day.

Her body was identified in Thailand last Friday and has been flown back to the UK where funeral arrangements are being made, Cleveland Police said.

The former student's family set up a website to help others.

Ms Cox left England in November 2003 to go travelling with friends after graduating from university.

Funeral arrangements

They spent a year in Australia, then went on to New Zealand and Singapore before arriving in Thailand.

Friends told her family how they had seen her trying to climb a tree when the wave struck.

Her family visited Thailand where they put up posters and gave DNA samples.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said Ms Cox's body was identified in Thailand a week ago.

She said: "Her body has now been flown back to the UK and funeral arrangements are under way."

Her family did not want to make any further comment and had asked to be left alone to grieve, the spokeswoman added.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed Ms Cox's body had been flown back to the UK.

He said the coroner for West London had opened an inquest on 1 June.




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