The body of Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf, 57, was found by a local resident yesterday. She is believed to have been raped and murdered.
“I, Narong Woonciew, the Governor of Phuket Province, am really saddened by the passing of Ms Nicole Sauvain-Weisskopf, a Swiss national who came to Thailand as a tourist under the Phuket Sandbox programme on July 13, 2021,” Governor Narong said in English at the Phuket Sandbox Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Phuket Town this morning (Aug 6).
“On behalf of the province of Phuket and the people of Phuket I wish to extend my profound sympathies and deepest condolences to Ms Nicole’s family and friends, and to the Swiss Federation.
“Most importantly, Phuket officials and I will do absolutely everything we can to investigate what has happened and bring justice to Ms Nicole. Please be assured of our fullest efforts to follow up very closely with this case,” he said.
Over a hushed silence in the room Swiss honorary consul for Phuket Andrea Kotas Tammathin said, “I am deeply, deeply sorry what has happened to this innocent woman. I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family.
“It saddens me to see how evil people can do something like that in a country which is usually known for its friendliness and kindness, and especially for the Phuket community. It is a sad, sad day for Phuket.”
The killing of Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf has sent shockwaves throughout the Phuket community, with an outpouring of condolences and anger vented online since the news broke of her death yesterday.
Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of Phuket Tourist Association, this morning joined that outpouring.
“On behalf of all tourism people in Phuket, together with the other people in Phuket, I would like to deliver our deepest condolences, especially to the people in Switzerland,” he said.
“I would like to assure you two things. All officers who will be involved in the investigation will do their best to find the wrongdoer and will deliver the maximum punishment to whoever has done this to Ms Nicole,” he added.
“Secondly, on behalf of all tourism people in Phuket, we will not tolerate any incidents like this. We would like to make sure that we put our efforts together to make sure that tourists who come to visit Phuket will be safe and sound and have very good memories to take back home. Thank you very much,” he said.
Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol also expressed his deepest condolences.
Forensic staff have intensified their investigation and have already completed their initial findings, he said.
“The forensic department already conducted the autopsy of her body yesterday. The results of the initial examination have already come out, but I have to say that we cannot reveal any details at this moment. Today, forensic police will come and conduct the autopsy again with our staff to determine the cause of her death,” he said.
“What we have done is just the initial examination. There are many other things needed to be done to determine the details of her death. For an unnatural death like murder, we still need to follow the processes of forensic science,” Dr Chalermpong noted.
“We will collect samples to have DNA tests conducted in Bangkok as soon as possible. I expect that we will be able to reveal the results of the initial examination this evening, and in three to five days, the result of DNA tests will come out,” he said.
Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Aganit Danpitaksat also expressed deepest condolences from police across Phuket.
“The National Police Chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk and the Region 8 Police Commander have been following this case closely and ordered local police to work thoroughly and decisively,” he said.
“Gen Suwat will come to Phuket to control the investigation by himself later today and reveal details about the police efforts,” he added.
“I would like to promise to her family and our people that the Royal Thai Police will do our best to investigate and search for whoever has done this,” he Col Aganit said.
Kosin Ponmang, who as Chief of the Phuket Passport Office is one of the leading representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the island, this morning explained that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha had already expressed his deepest condolences over Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf’s death.
“Last night, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs called to the Swiss ambassador directly to express their condolences for the loss. The Phuket Governor called and spoke with the Director-General of the Department of European Affairs. He also called the Swiss ambassador at about 9pm,” he said.
A representative from Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, where Ms Sauvaint-Weisskopf was staying, also joined the messages of condolences.
“On behalf of Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, I would like to express my deepest condolences for the loss. Ms Nicole was a lovely and kind woman who really loved Thailand. While staying with us, she often joined our cooking class and other activities with our staff,” she said.
“We as people working in tourism, along with all Thai people, will do our best to take care of our tourists to have a very good, and safe, experience while staying at our hotel and in our country,” she added.
Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub