Thai man accused of raping and killing German tourist

Thai suspect Ronnakorn Romruen, 23 years old, is escorted by police as he arrives at the Koh Sichang police station in Chonburi province, Thailand, Monday, April 9, 2019. Ronnakorn has been charged with the rape and murder of a German tourist on the island of Sichang. (AP Photo)
In this March 10, 2019, photo, a roadway lines the rocky coastline of Koh Sichang, Thailand. Police have arrested and charged Ronnakorn Romruen, 23 years old, for the rape and murder of a German tourist on the island. (AP Photo/Nicole Evatt)

BANGKOK — Thai police said a local man has been arrested on suspicion of raping and killing a German tourist on the island of Koh Si Chang in the Gulf of Thailand.

Police said the victim was approached and attacked by Ronnakorn Romruen, a native of the small island, while she was traveling on her rental motorbike. Ronnakorn, 23, was tracked down and arrested Monday.

An investigator at Chonburi police station, Somkid Kaensa, said police have charged Ronnakorn with murder, rape and concealing a body.

Police said the suspect, who operates a trash collecting boat, admitted to the crimes and said he used drugs before the incident.

The body of the 27-year-old tourist with injuries on head and legs was found Sunday hidden under rocks and a pile of leaves.

Koh Si Chang is a popular weekend tourist destination for both locals and foreigners with a population of only 5,000 people. The island is in Chonburi province, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Bangkok.

Somkid said a Thai tourist called police after they saw Ronnakorn's clothes covered in blood and police then searched the area and discovered the tourist's body.

Somkid said a flower vendor who knew Ronnakorn also saw that his clothes were covered in blood and asked him what he was doing. Somkid said the vendor identified Ronnakorn for police, who went to his home where they found him and the shirt that was covered in blood.

The maximum punsihment for premeditated murder is the death penalty.

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