Another tourist found dead on Thailand’s ‘Murder Island’

Elise Dallemange, 30, was found dead in the jungle on the island of Koh Tao, having been half-eaten by lizards, eight days after she said she was leaving to return to her native home in Belgium.
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Another young European tourist has been found dead on the Thai island known locally as ‘Murder Island.’ Thai police have again attempted to suppress the news in fear of damaging the country’s already fragile tourist industry.

The mother of a “pretty” backpacker who was found dead on Thailand’s notorious murder island refuses to believe the police account that she hanged herself.

Elise Dallemange, 30, was found dead in the jungle on the island of Koh Tao, having been half-eaten by lizards, eight days after she said she was leaving to return to her native home in Belgium.

The death is the latest in a string of seven fatalities in three years on the island , which is popular with British backpackers.

Read – Thai police forced to reopen death case of Belgian tourist

Read – Are Days Numbered For The Thai Tourist Industry?

Thai police claim Elise hung herself – but her devastated mother does not believe them, and thinks somebody else was involved.

The young backpacker had been living at a yoga and tantra retreat, which neighboured the party island of Koh Phangan, in between travelling round Asia, for two years.

She was part of the sect of the Sathya Sai Baba cult movement, and lived with a self-proclaimed “guru”, and left the island on April 17 to return home.

It was revealed today that on April 28 she became the latest tourist found dead on the island of Koh Tao.

Elise’s heartbroken mother, Michele van Egten, has now proclaimed she does not believe police account of events.

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Elise Dallemange, 30, here pictured with her mother Michele, had been living at a yoga and tantra retreat on neighbouring full-moon party island Koh Phangan
Elise Dallemange, 30, here pictured with her mother Michele, had been living at a yoga and tantra retreat on neighbouring full-moon party island Koh Phangan (Photo: Viral Press)

The death on Koh Tao is the latest in a number of high profile cases , with seven tourists dead on the tiny “murder island” in three years.

The death appears to have been suppressed by Thai authorities keen to cover up deaths of foreigners.

According to journalistic sources close to the case, native editors say they are under pressure not to publicise such stories.

Michelle, who says the death would have gone unnoticed if not for her public appeal for help, said: “I do not believe what the police have told us. We fear somebody else was involved.

“We’re more and more thinking that the police information is not the right explanation.”

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Elise Dallemange, 30, had been living at a yoga and tantra retreat on neighbouring full-moon party island Koh Phangan in between travelling around Asia for the last two years.
Elise Dallemange, 30, had been living at a yoga and tantra retreat on neighbouring full-moon party island Koh Phangan in between travelling around Asia for the last two years. (Photo: Viral Press)

The mother told Der Farang magazine that she had been promised an autopsy report – but has still not been delivered.

Phone records show that Elise called her mother on Skype on April 17 before leaving on a Ferry April 19 – but it is not known why she alighted on Koh Tao instead of continuing on to the mainland.

Michele claims that Elise used a fake name of “Elise Dubuis” to check into the Triple B Bungalows next to Mae Head Pier on Koh Tao as she travelled via the island on a ferry bound for Chumphon province on her route back to capital Bangkok.

But an unexplained fire that evening burned down three bamboo huts – including the one Elise had been staying in.

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She was also part of a sect of the Sathya Sai Baba cult movement and lived with a self-proclaimed "guru"
She was also part of a sect of the Sathya Sai Baba cult movement and lived with a self-proclaimed “guru” (Photo: Viral Press)

Elise fled 2.5km to through the jungle to Tanote Bay and took a room at the Poseidon Resort where she booked another ticket for Bangkok leaving on April 24.

Eight days later when locals living near the island’s idyllic Tanote Bay became suspicious of a monitor lizard going back and fourth into the jungle they discovered Elise’s half-eaten body on May 27 among rocks behind the Tanote Family Bay Resort.

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An aerial view of Tanote Bay in Koh Tao where a pretty backpacker was found dead on April 27
An aerial view of Tanote Bay in Koh Tao where a pretty backpacker was found dead on April 27 (Photo: Viral Press)

Police told Elise’s mother Michele that her daughter had committed suicide by hanging herself from a tree around three days before she was found.

But no suicide note or message were recovered and Michele is desperate for information surrounding the mysterious death.

Elise’s bags mysteriously appear to have been loaded onto the ferry she was due to take, and arrived at Chumphon province where she should have caught a bus to the capital.

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Elise was missing for eight days before she was found half-eaten by lizards on the death island of Koh Tao (Photo: Viral Press)

But Elise had disappeared. She was later identified by dental records and previous x-rays.

Michele says police told her that Elise had been wrapped in old t-shirts or cotton shawls while an empty fuel bottle was found next to her.

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Elise's mother is devastated and believes the pretty backpackers does not believe she killed herself
Elise’s mother is devastated and does not believe she killed herself(Photo: Viral Press)

An autopsy was performed in Surat Thani Hospital and later by the Institute of Forensic Medicine Police Hospital, Bangkok, and Elise was cremated 14 days later.

Michele said: “Too many things show us that someone is involved. Police told us that Elise hanged herself up in the jungle. I cannot accept why my daughter should have killed herself.

“She was normal in the last conversation and no signs of depression were visible.

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Freedom Beach on the island of Koh Tao, which is now being dubbed 'murder island'
Freedom Beach on the island of Koh Tao, which is now being dubbed ‘murder island’ (Photo: Getty)

“I don’t know why she would have booked a transfer to Bangkok and then went into the jungle to commit suicide

“I am devastated by events. I am still waiting for the final autopsy report. We just want more information.

“My daughter had been travelling due to her mother for two and a half years, in India, Australia and New Zealand and always back again to Thailand.

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Chillingly, the death of Elise appears to have been suppressed by Thai authorities desperate to cover up deaths of foreigners.
Chillingly, the death of Elise appears to have been suppressed by Thai authorities desperate to cover up deaths of foreigners. (Photo: Viral Press)

“She lived there for months with Guru Raaman Andreas from Germany and two female friends.”

Michele said she had never been shown pictures of her daughter hanging from the tree where police claim she was found – normal practice for officers and rescue workers to photograph the scene.

She is now working with a German investigator to trace locals who discovered Elise’s corpse to confirm where she was hanging.

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Sai Ree beach on the island of Koh Tao, where British tourist Luke Miller was found dead
Sai Ree beach on the island of Koh Tao, where British tourist Luke Miller was found dead (Photo: Barcroft)

Michele is also looking for answers from the German cult guru Raaman Andreas, whom she claims left the island of Koh Phangan when she visited in May to retrace her daughters footsteps.

She added: “We were told by police in Koh Tao that they have no jurisdiction on the neighbouring island Koh Phangan, so a lot of questions have not been investigated.”

Grim recent history of ‘murder island’

Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were murdered in September 2014
Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were murdered in September 2014 (Photo: PA)

Hannah Witheridge and David Miller

Brits Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were murdered as they walked back to their hotel rooms in September 2014.

Hannah, 23, from Hemsby, Norfolk, and David Miller, 24, from Jersey, were found dead on the island of Koh Tao on September 15.

Post-mortem examinations showed that the young backpackers, who had met on the island while staying at the same hotel, both suffered head wounds and that Miss Witheridge had been raped.

Luke Miller was found dead in a swimming pool in Koh Tao
Luke Miller was found dead in a swimming pool in Koh Tao

Luke Miller

British tourist Luke Miller found dead in hotel swimming pool on notorious Thai holiday island

Luke Miller, a bricklayer from the Isle of Wight, was found dead in a swimming pool on January 8 2016, with an inquest earlier this month finding “no evidence” he was murdered.

He was was discovered floating in the water by a member of hotel staff, with his death coming just days after a tragic final Facebook post on New Year’s Eve, in which he said: “Can honestly say this new year I am living the dream”.

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Christina Annesley

British holidaymaker Christina Annesley, 23, died on the island in January 2015 after apparently mixing antibiotics she was taking for a chest infection with alcohol.

But her parents slammed Thai authorities for failing to investigate the death.

Nick Pearson
Nick Pearson’s parents are convinced their son was murdered in Koh Tao

Nick Pearson

Twenty-five-year-old Nick Pearson, from Derby, was found floating in the sea on New Year’s Day 2014. His parents believe he was murdered – despite police claims he fell 50ft and drowned.

Valentina Novozhyonov

Russian tourist Valentina Novozhyonova, 23, vanished from her hostel on Koh Tao in March and has still not been found.

Dimitri Povse

Frenchman Dimitri Povse, 29, was found hanged in a bungalow on the island on New Year’s Day 2015 and his death was ruled as suicide despite his hands being tied behind his back.

Read – Are Days Numbered For The Thai Tourist Industry?

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