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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 January 2006, 13:24 GMT
Thai murder victim's body returns
Katherine Horton
An inquest will be held in Cardiff on Katherine Horton
The body of a 21-year-old student raped and murdered in Thailand has been flown back to the UK as DNA tests continue on potential suspects.

Five days after Katherine Horton was found off the island of Koh Samui, her father and brother returned to Heathrow Airport, London.

An inquest will be held on the Reading University psychology student in her home city of Cardiff.

Police said DNA recovered from her body was thought to be from two Thai men.

Officers have said that Miss Horton was raped and suffocated before being taken in a fishing boat and put into the sea.

The Bangkok Post reported that a senior Thai police chief, Maj-Gen Santan Chayanont, has said the crime scene was not Thong Krok beach, where her body was found but Ban Lamai village.

Police said a number of men were being tested for a DNA match throughout the day in an incident room set up close to Lamai Bay beach.

Lamai beach, Koh Samui, Thailand
Miss Horton was staying with a friend on Lamai beach, Koh Samui

Earlier, Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra told police to find the killer quickly.

He told officials in Bangkok: "I have ordered police to get the killer of the British tourist in Koh Samui as soon as possible."

Miss Horton was last seen alive on 1 January when she wandered away from friends on the beach to speak to her mother on her mobile phone.

The results of a post-mortem examination revealed that her clothing was dishevelled and that she had suffered bruising as well as head and other internal injuries.

Her father travelled to the island from Cardiff, and was joined by his eldest son Christopher, who lives in Australia, as he made an emotional tribute to his daughter on Thursday.

Ian Horton (centre), Miss Horton's brother Christopher (left) and her friend Ruth Adams (right) in Thailand on Thursday

"She was full of confidence and felt immune to the dangers of this world as we have all felt when we were young adults," said her father.

"Tragically her faith in her fellow man let her down and she has been taken from us forever."

'Save another life'

He then appealed directly for help in tracing his daughter's killers before laying a wreath on the beach where she died.

"The perpetrator is too cowardly to offer themselves to justice in Thailand but there is a person here that knows," he said.

"A person that can assist the police. Someone that can maybe save another life. I urge that person to come forward to speak out."

Miss Horton's fellow Reading University student Ruth Adams, from Kent, with whom she travelled to Thailand, has returned to Britain.

South Wales Police have confirmed a second post-mortem examination will be carried out once Miss Horton's body arrives home at the request of the coroner.




SEE ALSO:
Student's 'passion for life'
03 Jan 06 |  Wales
Country profile: Thailand
28 Oct 05 |  Country profiles


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