Police search for suspected killer of British tourist

Police searched Thursday for the suspected killer of a British woman whose beaten body was found in the sea near a popular beach resort. A jet skier on Monday morning discovered the body of Katherine Horton, 21, still wearing an evening dress, in the sea near Lamai beach on the southeast coast of Koh Samui.

Police Lt. Col. Dr. Pattana Kitkailart, who performed the autopsy on Horton's body in Bangkok, said she drowned and had been hit on the head and body. "We hope to get the killer very soon," said police Lt. Col. Thanongsak Aksornsom of the Koh Samui police station.

He said there was no evidence of rape as had earlier been speculated and it appeared a single person had killed Horton, of Cardiff, Wales. She was strolling alone on the beach when she disappeared, he said. Thanongsak said police have interviewed a dozen Thai men and foreigners, but so far had not issued any arrest warrants.

"The national and local police are launching an all-out effort to wrap up the case and get the killer in this important case as soon as possible," said police Maj. Warawej Winitnetayanonda, chief of Surat Thani provincial police where Koh Samui is located.

The victim's father, Ian Horton, said he wished to return Katherine's body to her home with "dignity and privacy."

"Katherine came to Thailand to dance on a beach, to ride an elephant, to have a vacation before her finals at university," he told reporters Wednesday at a hotel on Lamai beach.

"Tragically, her faith in her fellow man has let her down, and she has been taken from us forever," he said, fighting back tears. "I urge those who did this to come forward." Koh Samui, 450 kilometers (280 miles) south of Bangkok, is jammed with foreign tourists at this time of the year, reports the AP. I.L.

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