Man admits to raping and murdering German backpacker, 26, while ‘high on meth’ on idyllic Thai island after he smashed her face on a rock when she refused sex
- Miriam Beelte, 26, was on holiday in Pattaya when she took a trip to Koh Sichang
- She rented a motorbike before local man Ronnakorn Romruen, 24, accosted her
- Police say Romruen asked her for sex then began following her when she refused
- He admitted raping her then beating her to death to stop her reporting the crime
A female German backpacker has been raped and murdered while holidaying on an idyllic Thai island.
Miriam Beelte, 26, from Hildesheim, Germany, was found dead on the island of Koh Sichang off the eastern coast of Thailand on Sunday.
Police said she suffered severe head wounds and a broken leg, and that her remains had been hidden behind some rocks and partially covered with leaves.
Investigators have arrested local man Ronnakorn Romruen, 24, and say he confessed to committing the crime while high on meth.
Thailand is a top international backpacking destination and is particularly popular with Britons, though authorities have warned about the dangers of holidaying there.
In just two years between 2016 and 2018, 60 Britons met with ‘unexplained’ deaths in the country, leading to suspicions that tourists were being targeted.
Beelte’s body was discovered around 6pm Sunday by someone walking through the woods, who called the authorities.
Police locked down the island and Romruen was arrested a short time later.
Investigators believe Miss Beelte had been dead for around five hours before her body was discovered.
Police said that Miss Beelte had been on holiday in the nearby city of Pattaya and was travelling alone when she took a boat from the Siracha district to the island.
There she rented a motorcycle just before lunchtime when Romruen began talking to her. He told police he asked her for sex but she refused.
He then followed her as she tried to get away from him.
Romruen told police he pinned Miriam to the ground and raped her in woodland as she screamed for help.
He then allegedly killed her by repeatedly smashing her in the face with a rock to stop her from reporting the crime to police.
Officers said that Romruen confessed to murder after four hours of interrogation and he was taken back to his wooden home in the early hours of the morning.
Shirtless and in handcuffs, he pointed out the clothes he had been wearing when committed the crime, before taking them home and washing them in a bid to conceal the evidence.
Police Colonel Angkul Sarakul said that the killer was detained at the Koh Si Chang Police Station waiting for the legal proceedings.
On Monday morning he was then taken on a boat to the mainland in Chonburi province where he will be remanded in custody and charged.
Footage from the early hours of Monday shows him being taken back to his house in handcuffs to point out the clothes he had been wearing when he murdered and raped the young woman.
Police Colonel Angkul Sarakul said: ‘The police station was informed of the foreign woman that had been murdered and hidden among leaves and rocks.
‘At the scene the initial examination showed that the victim had been beaten in the head several times.
‘She had been dead for around five hours. We suspected rape and murder and immediately stopped anyone from leaving the island.’
He added: ‘The suspect was brought to the station in the early hours of the morning.
‘Based on his confessions, he will be charged with premeditated murder, rape and concealing a body.
‘The body of the victim will be sent to the forensic hospital for a full examination to find the exact cause of death.
‘We immediately contacted the German embassy for them to communicate with the relatives of the victim.’