DNA test taken for 2007 murder in Thailand

As part of the investigation into the murder of a Japanese tourist in the Sukhothai historical park, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and a forensic team yesterday collected DNA samples and fingerprints of 65 border police in Phitsanulok province. They were at a camp nearby at the time of the 2007 murder.

DSI deputy director-general Pol Lt-Colonel Pongin Intarakhao said apart from these border patrol police officers, DSI investigators and forensic officials would also take DNA samples and fingerprints from 50 other people who were nearby at the time of the murder.

Tomoko Kawashita, 27, was found stabbed to death in an isolated wooded area near Wat Saphan Hin in the world heritage park on November 25, 2007, in Sukhothai.

The Japanese Embassy and the victim's father have called for a speedy investigation into the murder, which has resulted in the DSI picking it up as a special case.

The forensic team comprises officials from the Police Forensic Centre 6 and the Central Institute of Forensic Science.

He added that if those people were found to have passed on, the officials would collect DNA samples from their blood relatives. Pongin insisted that the people in question were not suspects and that the samples were being collected to rule out possibilities. He also revealed that a Bt500,000 (S$20,000) reward was being offered for anybody who provides information leading to the killer's arrest.

DSI special adviser Pol General Jarumporn Suramanee said DNA samples had been collected from more than 200 people, but they had yet to find a match. He said the team was using FTA paper to collect DNA samples from inside the mouth, as it would be more accurate than stem-cell testing when it comes to matching samples.