The mystery surrounding the death of Elise Dallemagne – the backpacker found half-eaten by lizards in Thailand – has a new twist.
Thai police believe that grainy CCTV footage shows the 30-year-old just yards from where her body was found.
But Michele van Egten, Elise’s mother, says the woman in the image isn’t her daughter and there are a lot more questions that need to be asked regarding Elise’s death.
That’s not Elise’s silhouette [in the footage], she was much slimmer, that’s not the way she was walking.
She also disputes the Thai police’s ‘attempts to discredit’ her daughter with claims she attempted suicide.
Speaking to The Mirror, she said:
I’m very hurt by this allegation – Elise seems to (have gone) alone to Bangkok one day, without taking her identity papers – that’s not Elise because she was always so well organised.
Police released the CCTV image as a series of claims surrounding the traveller’s death are being questioned.
Firstly, a hotel worker said just days before Elise’s body was found, she checked into a hotel under a fake name and then fled when a fire broke out in her room the same night.
Police have also claimed Elise had been involved in a cult, and in the weeks leading up to her death, had tried to commit suicide at a railway station.
The grainy black and white shot shows the back of a woman walking down a concrete path on Koh Tao, Thailand’s ‘Murder Island’, on April 21.
Officers claim the image was taken at 9.03am outside the Poseidon Resort as Elise bought a speedboat ticket to travel three days later at 2.30pm.
It’s not known what happened to the medical science graduate between then and April 24, but police claim a second autopsy confirms she hanged herself.
Elise’s mother also wants to know where her daughter’s mobile phone is.
It was initially said to have been found next to her body but has since vanished.
In another point made my Michele, she said that if Elise had bought rope on the island, officers would be able to find the shop that sold it to her.
We can accept suicide if there is evidence to show it, but until now there has only been evidence to suggest otherwise and as parents we need to know what happened – we owe that to Elise and her family and her friends.
A second autopsy was performed on Elise and Thai Police claim it showed she died from suffocation caused by a rope around her neck, with no signs that there had been a struggle or that Elise had been raped.
Officers also reportedly probed the neighbouring island Koh Phangan and the housing linked to the ‘Sathya Sali Baba’ spiritual movement Elise had allegedly been involved with.
Elise’s death is the latest in a string of seven cases of tourists found dead on the island in the last three years.
Michele says there are still so many questions to be answered:
Elise never had such a kind of behaviour, she was always very strong. When I saw her by Skype on April 19 she was looking good and smiling a lot.
Michele is set to meet with Belgian authorities including on Monday at the Embassy of Belgium in Bangkok.
In another bizarre twist this week, locals speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Independent that the island is run by a powerful mafia that threatened to hang a Brit backpacker.