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Manhunt on but No suspect in Swiss woman’s murder

Police had no suspect yet in the murder of a Swiss woman tourist by a waterfall in Phuket, national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk said on Friday afternoon.

Pol Gen Suwat went to the southern island province on Friday with a large team of experienced detectives and forensic experts from Bangkok to head the investigation.

Nicole Sauvain-Weisskopf, 57, deputy protocol chief of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland, was found murdered at Ao Yon waterfall in tambon Vichit of Muang district in Phuket on Thursday afternoon. Police said she had been dead for about two days. 

The police chief said he brought forensic science and forensic medicine experts from Bangkok, as well as experienced detectives from the Central Investigation Bureau, the Crime Suppression Division, Provincial Police Region 8, the Tourist Police and the Immigration Bureau.

“Big teams have been deployed for a thorough investigation. We have lots of homework to do. We will open an operations centre here at Vichit police station and work around the clock until the culprit is arrested,” Pol Gen Suwat said.

Detectives were looking for everyone with possible access to the crime scene at the time of the murder. Going by the condition of the body, police believed it was murder. They had no suspect at this stage, he said.

Pol Gen Suwat said surveillance camera footage showed the victim went alone to the crime scene, which was a tourist attraction, and there were “traces” in the body. He was waiting for the official autopsy report.

He said he did not know who owned the shoes found at the crime scene.

Earlier on Friday, Dr Chalermpong Sukhonthaphol, director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, said forensic doctors at the hospital examined the body on Thursday. He refused to elaborate on the initial autopsy report.

“The Institute of Forensic Medicine of the Royal Thai Police Office will do another autopsy. Many things have yet to be done.

In a murder case, DNA, blood and bodily fluids must be sent to Bangkok to find the cause of death as soon as possible,” the hospital director said.

Police on Friday relased the victim’s timeline since her arrival in Phuket, ending with her 18-minute walk, alone from her hotel near Ao Yon beach to the waterfall, about 1.4 kilometres away, on Tuesday.

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