Thailand murders: Two British men to be questioned
Police investigating the murders of two British tourists in Thailand have said two Britons are “possible suspects” and will face questioning.
Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were found dead on a beach on the island of Koh Tao on Monday.
Two British men who spent time with the victims in the days before they died are now in “police care” in Bangkok.
Police have also detained six Burmese suspects, saying they have “strong evidence” including blood on clothes.
BBC south-east Asia correspondent Jonathan Head said the two British men were believed to be brothers and were stopped at Bangkok International Airport as they prepared to leave the country.
He was hard-working, bright and conscientious, with everything to look forward to”
Family of David Miller
Officers said they had not been formally detained or arrested but were with police in Bangkok.
One of them was questioned on Monday shortly after the bodies were found and was later released. The other had already left the island.
‘Whatever it takes’
A Thai police spokesman said the six Burmese people detained had been “around the scene of the crime”.
“We have strong evidence that led us to the Burmese suspects as blood stains were found on some of their clothes,” he said.
“DNA tests are being completed and we should hopefully have a report [on Thursday].”
He said officers could not “rule out” the two British men.
“They were close friends and knew all about the victims,” he said.
“We have got to do whatever it takes to obtain concrete evidence.”
The UK Foreign Office said it was “aware of reports that the Thai police have spoken to British nationals” in connection with the case.
“The investigation is a matter for the Thai authorities,” it said.
“We stand ready to provide consular assistance if required.”
‘Loving young woman’
Mr Miller, from Jersey, and Ms Witheridge, from Hemsby in Norfolk, were found close to the beach-side bungalows where they had been staying.
A garden hoe believed to have been used in the attack was found nearby.
On Tuesday, police said they were focusing their investigation on the Burmese migrant worker community on Koh Tao.
They released CCTV footage showing Mr Miller and Ms Witheridge, and a later image of a man of “Asian appearance” whom they said they suspected of involvement.
Ms Witheridge’s family described her as “a beautiful, intelligent, loving young woman who poured joy into the lives of all who knew her”.
“She was selfless and caring and made each and every day that little bit more wonderful,” they said in a statement.
“Our family are utterly devastated and shocked by what has happened to our beautiful Hannah. To lose her in the way that we have is beyond comprehension.
“We are heartbroken and no words can possibly describe how we feel.”
In a statement, Mr Miller’s family said: “David was an artist by temperament. He had a creative eye that he carried with him through life and in his degree.
“He was hard-working, bright and conscientious, with everything to look forward to.
“David was very giving to his family and friends and we all adored him. He will be sorely, sorely missed.”
Paul Muller, managing director of Consolidated Minerals, an Australian firm where Mr Miller had recently spent five weeks on work experience, said staff were “deeply saddened” by the death of the “enthusiastic, inquisitive, intelligent and outgoing young man”.