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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 August, 2004, 06:06 GMT 07:06 UK
Family's hope in murder hunt
Kirsty Jones
Kirsty Jones was on a lone backpacking trip
Welsh police and the mother of murdered backpacker Kirsty Jones have met Foreign Office chiefs in a fresh attempt to track down her killer.

The 23-year-old, from Tredomen, near Brecon, was killed on 10 August, 2000, at a guest house in Thailand.

The meeting, described as "positive," could lead to more co-operation between Dyfed-Powys Police and the Royal Thai Police (RTP), claimed one Welsh officer.

He said the RTP had set up a new team to investigate the death.

We're hoping something positive will come out of the meeting we had in London, but things are still moving very slowly
Kirsty's mother Sue Jones

But there are still no leads in the hunt for the killer, who remains at large.

Kirsty's mother Sue Jones said: "We are still working closely with the Foreign Office and Dyfed-Powys Police.

"We're hoping something positive will come out of the meeting we had in London, but things are still moving very slowly."

Chief Insp Steve Hughson added: "Dyfed-Powys Police are still actively involved in the case and on Thursday last week Sue Jones, former DPP officer Steve Wilkins, who is now with the National Criminal Intelligence Service, and I travelled to London to meet officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

"The meeting was to decide a strategy to take the matter forward.

"It was a positive meeting with a good outcome which will hopefully lead to a successful conclusion to the case.

"Without giving too many details away, we could co-operate with the Royal Thai Police again in the future to help them bring about a successful conclusion to the case.

"But we recognise that the Royal Thai Police have jurisdiction."

Kirsty Jones' parents
Kirsty's parents have been frustrated by the lack of progress
Chief Insp Hughson, who is based in Llandrindod Wells, added that detectives had the DNA profile of Kirsty's killer.

"We will always have this piece of the killer and it's just a matter of matching it up with some one in Thailand," he said.

"We were told by Foreign Office officials that a new investigation team was put in place in March.

"We are not close to solving the murder, but the meeting was designed to keep the case on the political and Thai police's agenda.

"Our thoughts are still with the Jones family and we have maintained contact with them."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office refused to release details about the meeting.

Interpol

However, a spokeswoman said that the department continued to provide assistance to the Jones family and maintained contact with the RTP.

Kirsty was three months into a two-year trip around the world when she was raped and murdered in the Aree guesthouse in Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand.

A number of men have been arrested but released without charge.

Last year, Dyfed-Powys Police officers were asked to interview a number of key witnesses in Britain, and international crime agency Interpol carried out a worldwide search of DNA databases.

The force first became involved in the investigation in September 2001 after Kirsty's family became frustrated at the way Thai police were handling the hunt.

Not long after Kirsty's murder, the RTP arrested British-born guesthouse owner Andrew Gill after releasing a number of other suspects.

But he had always vehemently denied any involvement in Kirsty's death and was subsequently released without charge.

DNA tests on 11 suspects had ruled them out of any direct involvement in her death, leaving Thai authorities with no real suspect.


SEE ALSO:
New backpacker murder hunt
07 Aug 03  |  Wales
Thai backpacker's parents' plea
07 Aug 01  |  Wales
Paradise city for backpackers
11 Aug 00  |  UK News
'New leads' in Thai murder hunt
01 May 02  |  Wales


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