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28 February 2024

British backpacker found dead on Thai tourist island


A British backpacker has been discovered dead on the popular Thai tourist island of Koh Tao, police said Friday, four months after a British couple were found murdered there.

Police said the body of Christina Annesley, 23, was discovered inside a bungalow room at a resort on the eastern side of the island on Wednesday.

There were no immediate signs of criminal activity but her body will be sent to the mainland for an autopsy.

"There was no trace of a fight and her body has no wounds," local police officer Lieutenant Colonel Napa Senathit told AFP by telephone, adding that investigators discovered three kinds of medicine in her room, but no recreational drugs.

The autopsy is not likely to be carried out before Sunday as officials have to wait for a ferry to the mainland.

"There is no ferry today so we will send her body on Saturday night to arrive on the mainland Sunday morning," Lieutenant Colonel Napa said.

Many of Annesley's final tweets -- under the handle @chrstinadarling -- spoke of the beauty of Koh Tao's white sand beaches and azure waters which are popular backpackers and divers.

"In awe of how beautiful this place is," she wrote on January 19, posting a picture of one of the island's many beaches.

She also made reference to taking both Tramadol, a painkiller, and Valium, an anti-anxiety medication, in the days leading up to her death.

British daily The Telegraph said Christina's mother Margaret had posted on her daughter's Facebook page saying she had died of "natural causes". The Facebook page appeared to be inaccessible Friday.

"We have lost our beautiful daughter Chrissie in Thailand of natural causes," the paper reported her writing.

"We are totally devastated. We love you so much darling, rest in peace. We will bring you home soon xxxxxxxxxx Mum and Dad."

Last year Koh Tao was rocked by the double murder of two young British backpackers.

Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun -- both Burmese nationals -- have been charged with the murder of David Miller, 24, and the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23.

Their trial is expected in July. If found guilty they could face the death penalty, in a case that cast a pall over Thailand's tourist industry.

The defendants, both aged 21, confessed to the crimes after their arrest in October but later retracted the confession, alleging it had been extracted under duress.

Rights groups have accused Thai authorities of using the men as scapegoats.