Par­ents of woman killed in Thai­land want re­ward raised

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Asean Focus -

THE par­ents of a Ja­panese woman mur­dered dur­ing the Loy Krathong fes­ti­val in Sukhothai prov­ince in 2007 have asked the De­part­ment of Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tion to in­crease the re­ward for ev­i­dence lead­ing to the killer’s ar­rest.

Ya­suaki and Eiko Kawashita made the re­quest dur­ing a meet­ing with DSI di­rec­tor-gen­eral Paisit Wong­muang at the de­part­ment’s head of­fice in Bangkok on Thurs­day.

The DSI ear­lier set its re­ward at 500,000 baht (K681 mil­lion). Sukhothai police of­fered the same amount and the par­ents an ad­di­tional 100,000 baht.

Mr Kawashita said the re­ward was too low and he had asked Thai au­thor­i­ties to raise it and in­crease the chances of some­one com­ing for­ward with in­for­ma­tion.

Mr and Mrs Kawashita made a trip to the DSI two years ago and asked for a big­ger ef­fort in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. With no ob­vi­ous progress, they have now pro­posed in­creas­ing the re­ward.

Their daugh­ter Tomoko was aged 27 when she ar­rived in Thai­land alone from Osaka. She went to Sukhothai for the Loy Krathong fes­ti­val. Loy Krathong day was Novem­ber 24, 2007, and she was found stabbed to death in Sukhothai His­tor­i­cal Park the fol­low­ing day. A rented bi­cy­cle was be­side her body.

Shortly be­fore, she had emailed friends in Ja­pan say­ing how much fun she was hav­ing and sent them many pho­tos taken in Thai­land.

Pol Col Paisit said the DSI had taken over the case in 2013 and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion had con­tin­ued since then.

The DSI had checked all the clues it had, along with DNA pro­file tests of about 300 peo­ple who were near the crime scene at the time. No matches had been made with DNA traces found on Tomoko’s cloth­ing.

One re­cent clue in­di­cated that another Ja­panese per­son was also near the crime scene. The DSI would ask Ja­panese police to con­tact that per­son for DNA com­par­i­son, Pol Col Paisit said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors re­lied on DNA tests be­cause ev­i­dence from the crime scene was lost when the DSI ac­cepted the case from lo­cal police six years af­ter the mur­der, he said. The DSI would con­sider rais­ing the re­ward, he said.

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