Investigators to screen out possibilities in the murder of Japanese woman in 2007
THE team investigating the murder of a Japanese tourist at Sukhothai Historic Park eight years ago will collect DNA samples and fingerprints of more than 100 border patrol police officers who underwent training at a camp near the crime scene at the time of the murder.
The border police officers have since been transferred to other provinces, including Chiang Mai, Nan, Phetchabun and Trat, while some have retired or passed away.
However, Pol General Jaramporn Suramanee, special cases adviser at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), instructed the team to collect samples from all the officers.
They will also collect samples from the relatives of the deceased border police officers, according to Somneuk Terdkawinkul, a DSI senior investigator and secretary of the probe team.
The DSI officials and forensic experts yesterday visited Sukhothai province to collect DNA samples and fingerprints from 34 border patrol police officers, Somneuk said. The team also collected fingerprints from 30 other border patrol police officers (whose DNA samples had been collected before) as they volunteered to undergo further examination to express their sincerity and innocence.
He said the team had already collected DNA samples and fingerprints from 49 border patrol police officers in Phitsanulok province. Somneuk said the DNA samples would be submitted to the Central Institute of Forensic Science while the fingerprints would be submitted to the Police Forensic Centre if they matched those found on details collected from the victim’s body.
Jaramporn said investigators were looking into who might have been in the area at the time of the murder, which occurred during the Loy Krathong Festival. He said none of the people who submitted DNA samples and fingerprint collection were suspects in the case and that the idea was to rule them out as possible suspects.
On November 25, 2007, Tomoko Kawashita, 27, was found stabbed to death near Wat Saphan Hin in the park. Local police investigated and collected DNA samples before passing the case to the public prosecutor in line with legal procedure, Jaramporn said. The police suspended interrogations but still continued the probe, he said.
Two years ago, the victim’s family called for a speedy investigation into the murder, which prompted the DSI to treat it as a special case. Investigators have collected samples from 200 people, none of whom match the evidence collected from the scene and victim.