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Special task force to probe Belgian tourist’s mystery death

SURAT THANI: The mysterious death of Belgian tourist Elise Dallemagne on Koh Tao has spurred Surat Thani police to set up a special task force to conduct what they claim will be a more rigorous probe.

death, murder, police, suicide,


Bangkok Post

Tuesday 4 July 2017, 08:30AM


The body of Belgian visitor Elise Dallemagne was found in the Koh Tao woods, apparently several days after she died. Photo: elisedall/Facebook
The body of Belgian visitor Elise Dallemagne was found in the Koh Tao woods, apparently several days after she died. Photo: elisedall/Facebook

Investigators are looking for a possible link between the tragedy and the Sathya Sai Baba New Age spiritual cult.

The task force aims to “clarify all doubts which the public may hold”, acting Surat Thani chief Pol Col Preecha Kladsawad said yesterday (July 3).

Many people, including the woman’s mother, have said they do not have faith in the police’s initial finding that the 30-year-old woman committed suicide during a holiday on the resort island in April.

However, investigators have found no clues to suggest Ms Dallemagne was murdered, he said.

According to deputy police spokesman Col Kritsana Phatthanacharoen, the autopsy result showed she died from asphyxia and there were no traces of physical assault on her body, which was found on April 27.

The woman, whom police claim hanged herself, is believed to have had several encounters with Raaman Andreas, a German leader of the Sathya Sai Baba cult, who had been staying in neighbouring Koh Pha Ngan in Surat Thani.

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The India-derived sect is known for its miraculous healings and teachings on the afterlife, Col Preecha said. He suspected her death may be linked to the cult as Ms Dallemagne is believed to be a member.

An investigation team, led by Koh Pha Ngan police chief Col Somchai Nopsi, earlier raided a house belonging to Mr Andreas which he had turned into a cult branch on the resort island, but the self-proclaimed guru was not found there.

Only two cult members were found in the house. They said Mr Andreas left Thailand for India and Sri Lanka about two months ago and they did not know when he would return.

Various events in Ms Dallemagne’s life, including her past unsuccessful suicide, will be pieced together by the task force to find out what happened in her last days, Col Preecha said, adding investigators were told to finish their job as soon as possible.

The Crime Suppression Division has also set up its own team to look into Ms Dallemagne’s death.

Read original story here.

 

 

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