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Last Updated: Monday, 2 January 2006, 20:55 GMT
Tourist's body found in Thailand
Katherine Horton
Katherine Horton had left for the Thailand trip last Tuesday
The body of a 21-year-old student backpacker from Cardiff has been found in the sea off an island in Thailand, the Foreign Office has said.

The body of Reading University student Katherine Horton was discovered on New Year's Day off the south eastern resort island of Samui.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the body was found by a water biker at 10am local time on Monday.

He said police in Thailand were investigating Ms Horton's death.

Ms Horton was last seen alive on Sunday night, the spokesman added.

Map showing location in Thailand where the body was found
The student had arrived on the island on New Year's Eve

The student had left for the Far East last week for a couple of weeks backpacking in Thailand with a university friend, her mother Elizabeth said speaking at the family home in Thornhill, Cardiff, on Monday.

"She's been in touch once to wish us all a happy new year but that was the last we've heard of her," she said.

"I can't believe she's gone. It just doesn't seem real, it doesn't seem possible."

Thai police also said the woman had been travelling with another student.

Officers said Ms Horton had arrived in Thailand last Tuesday and reached the island on New Year's Eve.

The family are deeply shocked by this tragic incident
Det Supt Simon Clarke
South Wales Police

They said they did not the know the cause of the woman's death and that a post mortem examination was due to take place.

South Wales Police said they were liaising with the Foreign Office and Thai police over the death.

A spokesman said: "The circumstances surrounding her death are currently being investigated, and South Wales Police have this afternoon assigned specially trained officers to support the family through this time."

Detective Superintendent Simon Clarke said: "The family are deeply shocked by this tragic incident and we will be there to give them all the support we can.

"Naturally, they are very distressed at the loss of their much-loved daughter and ask that the media respect their wish for privacy during this time of great upset."

Country profile: Thailand
28 Oct 05 |  Country profiles

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