Japanese family returns after murder probe has no progress 

The family of a 25-year-old Japanese woman murdered at the Sukhothai historical park 10 years ago returned to Thailand this week to follow up the progress of case.

The parents of Miss Tomoko Kawashita from Osaka yesterday (Nov 30) met the director-general of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) Pol Col Paisit Wongmuang to inquire about the botched murder probe after there was no significant progress in the probe.

The DSI took over the probe from local police in Sukhothai province in 2013 after her family complained of no progress in the investigation.

Tomoko was found dead with her throat slashed at the historical park on Nov 25, 2007. Some of her belongings went missing.

Yasuaki Kawashita, Tomoko’s father

Pol Col Paisit said DSI detectives have collected more than 300 DNA samples from all relevant people but none of them have matched the DNA found on the clothes of the victim.

He said police would like to collect DNA samples from a group of Japanese nationals but they refused.

The DSI needs to have coordination from the Japanese Embassy to get their DNA samples, he said.

During the meeting, Yasuaki Kawashita, Tomoko’s father, offered thank for the DSI’s promise to speed up the case and was hopeful that there will be progress in the probe soon.

A 1.1-million-baht bounty has been offered for Tomoko’s murderer. This included 500,000 baht from DSI, 500,000 baht from Sukhothai police, and 100,000 baht from Tomoko’s family.

The DSI also plans to increase reward for the arrest.