Police in Thailand are re-opening the bizarre case of Belgian backpacker Elise Dallemange. The 30-year-old was found dead in a jungle on Thailand’s Koh Tao island in late April, her body partially eaten by monitor lizards and wrapped in t-shirts or similar material. Local authorities ruled her death a suicide, claiming that Dallemange had hung herself
Elise Dallemange’s is just one of several foreigners who have died under suspicious circumstances on Koh Tao island in the past three years, and according to her mother, the official story surrounding her daughter’s death doesn’t add up. Michele van Egten believes that Thai authorities may be trying to cover-up a series of horrific murders on the island, murders that involve foreign tourists.
As Daily Mail reported, only two of the recent tourist deaths on the Thai island are being investigated as murders, and only after extreme public pressure. British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were found murdered in 2014 in the same area that the body of Elise Dallemange was found. Both Miller and Witheridge were bludgeoned to death, and Witheridge was also sexually assaulted.
The deaths of four other tourists, including Belgian backpacker Elise Dallemange, have been ruled suicides by Thai authorities.
Elise’s mother went public with information about her daughter’s death in hopes that public attention would force Thai authorities to take another look at the case. According to Michele, Elise was not suicidal, and there were many indications that she had made plans for the future and was not intending to take her life on the Thai Island.
“I do not believe what the police have told us. We fear somebody else was involved.”
According to her mother, Elise Dallemange had been in the midst of traveling around Asia when she died so mysteriously, and had been for the previous two years. She had most recently been residing at yoga and tantra retreat on the island of Koh Phangan.
Perhaps adding to the mystery of her inexplicable and unexplained death, the backpacker was an avowed member of the Sathya Sai Baba cult, even living with a guru, Guru Raaman Andreas.
As the Mirror reported, the members of the Sathya Sai Baba cult (including backpacker Elise Dallemange) believe that their leader Sathya Sai Baba was a literal “avatar of God.” While the controversial cult leader passed away in 2011, the “faith” he left behind (which is centralized on the belief of “divinity in human form”) is widespread with 1,200 worship sites across 126 countries.
According to her mother, Elise Dellemange was set to leave the island of Koh Phangan on April 17 to return to Belgium. However, rather than going home she headed to the island of Koh Tao where she was found dead on April 28. For some reason, the ferry route the backpacker booked to Bangkok traveled by way of Koh Tao to Chumphon harbor.
Nobody knows why Dallemange went to Koh Tao rather than the Thai mainland, not even her mother to whom she spoke on Skype on April 17. The backpacker reportedly left her “home island” of Koh Phangan by ferry on April 19.
When Dallemange arrived on Koh Tao, she checked into Triple B Bungalows. She reportedly used a fake name, Elise Dubuis. That night, three of the bungalow huts at the establishment burned down – including the one the backpacker was staying in. As the Mirror reported, there have been rumors that the manager of the property was angry at Dallemange, blaming the fire on candles in her bungalow. Later, the owner would say that the fire was started by faulty electrical wiring.
After the fire, backpacker is said to have run about a mile through the jungle to the the Tanote Bay area of the island. There she booked a new room at Poseidon Resort and a new ticket to Bangkok. She was scheduled to leave on April 24. It has been reported that Elise Dallemange’s luggage arrived on the Thai mainland after she died. According to her mother and others following the case of her bizarre death, this is an indication that she had no intention of committing suicide.
Just over a week later, the body of backpacker Elise Dallemange was discovered by locals near Tanote Bay. Her remains were found because of the strange behavior of a monitor lizard, who was discovered to be feeding on Elise’s body, which was found in a rocky area near Tanote Family Bay Resort.
Her body was in such poor condition that dental records were required to make a positive ID.
According to Thai police, the backpacker killed herself via hanging. Officials claim that she had been dead for roughly three days before she was discovered. Autopsies were performed by Surat Thani Hospital and Forensic Medicine Police Hospital, Bangkok, followed by cremation.
“We’re more and more thinking that the police information is not the right explanation. 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.”
Elise’s mother claims that she had been promised an autopsy report but never received one. Local police say that they are continuing to look for evidence in the backpacker’s “unnatural death.”
“Police continue to look for new evidence, because it was an unnatural death, but we have not found any.”
While Elise Dallemange died in April, authorities only made news of her death public last Thursday when it was confirmed that the investigation into her death was being re-opened. According to her mother, the backpacker’s remains have been sent home to Belgium, but she hasn’t heard from Thai authorities since her daughter’s cremation.
[Featured Image by Elise Dallemange Memorial/Facebook]