We met Kath on new year’s eve. She was a lovely girl, really bubbly and friendly. Wes and I spent a few hours talking to Kath and her friend Ruth before they went to Koh Pah-Ngan for new year. We spent new year’s day on the beach with them and we all went for dinner that night. We came back from dinner, Kath took her phone from her room and went down the beach to call her mum. We never saw her again.
The following morning Ruth knocked on our door at 8:30 to say that Kath still wasn’t back. Her shoes and the note Ruth had left for Kath had gone from outside the bungalow, so we thought she must have come back during the night and then gone into town. We looked for her on the beach and around Lamai village and the surrounding area. We didn’t find her.
By about 4 in the afternoon we decided there was something very wrong and so Ruth and I went to the police station. Around 6 or 7pm the police told me they had found Kath’s body. They showed me pictures of her body to confirm it was Kath. I couldn’t believe it. I broke the news to Ruth as gently as I could. She was utterly devastated. Ruth called her parents and I called Kath’s brother in England to break the news to the family. It was the hardest phone call I’ve ever had to make. I called a man on the other side of the world and told him his sister had died in Thailand.
We can’t imagine the grief her family are going through right now. We’re doing all we can to help them and to help the police here in Thailand to find out what happened to Kath. It’s been widely reported in the British press that Kath was murdered and may have been raped. The police here in Thailand are making every effort to get to the bottom of it. I counted at least 16 police officers on the beach at one point.
I knew Kath for less than two days, but in that time it was obvious what a bright, happy and bubbly person she was. She was laughing and joking at dinner with us just before she disappeared. Everyone staying on the beach was devastated by the news. When Ruth and I got back to the beach they had lit candles and everyone was sitting on the beach still shocked by the news.
No one who met Kath in the last few days of her life will ever forget her. She was a lovely girl who’s life was brutally taken from her in the worst possible way. All we can do now is give our thoughts and support to her family.