Published on 28 Jan 2015 Sections ,

Koh Tao: why have an 'unusual number' of foreigners died there?

Tourists take the boat to the island of Koh Tao to get away from it all but after a pair of brutal murders, two mysterious deaths, many people may feel inclined to keep well clear.

Tourists take the boat to the island of Koh Tao to get away from it all but after a pair of brutal murders, two mysterious deaths and now, the disappearance of a young woman, many people may feel inclined to keep well clear.

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A 27 year old British traveller called Lauren Hebden has been reported missing after last being seen on Koh Tao on 22 December. The UK-based charity Missing Abroad is appealing for information about her current whereabouts.

Here’s what it said on its website a few hours ago:

“Lauren went travelling in September 2013 and kept in touch regularly via email and Skype. However (that) stopped in September 2014, apart from one email in December 2014. Concern for Lauren’s well-being is now growing.”

While Ms Hebden may have travelled on to to another location, her presence on the island will generate concern.

Over the past few months, an unusual number of foreigners have died there. On 15 September the badly beaten bodies of Britons David Miller, 24 and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found on a beach on Koh Tao. A blood-stained hoe, believed to be the murder weapon, was found nearby. Thai police charged two Burmese migrants with their murder.

Seven days ago, a 23 year old from London called Christina Annesley was found dead in an island bungalow. The police said there is no evidence of foul play and the Thai coroner’s department found no traces of illegal drugs.

Ms Annesley posted numerous tweets on Koh Tao and complained of suffering from a chest infection. She also said she was taking Tramadol, a powerful painkiller, while drinking.

There is one more death to report. Three weeks ago a 29 year old Frenchman apparently hanged himself inside his rented Koh Tao beach hut.

The police treated the incident as suicide although the verdict was disputed online, with internet users questioning why the victim was found with his hands bound behind his back.

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