Man to be extradited in murder probe

A MAN wanted in connection with the murder of a woman whose hair and scalp was found on a Suffolk road was last night being extradited from Thailand.Police arrested Christopher Caunter, 34, in Petchaburi province, a popular tourist destination in the south of the country, a Thai police spokesman said.

A MAN wanted in connection with the murder of a woman whose hair and scalp was found on a Suffolk road was last night being extradited from Thailand.

Police arrested Christopher Caunter, 34, in Petchaburi province, a popular tourist destination in the south of the country, a Thai police spokesman said.

Officers said they wanted to speak to Mr Caunter following the death of his girlfriend, Deborah Townsend.

In a statement, Major Jakrit Aimchaengphan said the Thai authorities had been alerted by British police that he may have travelled to the south-east Asian country.


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A spokesman for Suffolk Police, who led the murder inquiry, said officers were aware of the reported arrest.

Three Essex men have been charged in connection with the death of Ms Townsend, 35, of East Ham, east London, whose body was found in a Land Rover at Newland Hall, Roxwell, Essex, on July 16.

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Her blood and hair were later found by police on the A146 road at Beccles in Suffolk. Post-mortem tests showed that she had died of head injuries.

Last July, Detective Chief Inspector Rick Munns asked Mr Caunter, who had not been seen since his partner's death, to contact police.

A Suffolk Police spokeswoman confirmed that an arrest had been made in Thailand in connection with the murder.

She said: “The 34-year-old British man was arrested late yesterday evening by Royal Thai Police.

“He is currently in custody in Bangkok. Extradition proceedings are now under way to secure the man's return to the UK.”

The hunt for Ms Townsend's body began after a motorist spotted blood on the A146 close to Morrison's round about at Beccles on July 15, 2005.

A forensic examination revealed hair and scalp tissue on the road surface and the carer's body was discovered on July 16 in the back of a Land Rover Discovery in a remote area near Chelmsford.

She left two daughters aged 18 and 15 and an eight-year-old son.

Ms Townsend had been living with Caunter in Bromley, south east London, for a short while leading up to her death. And the couple had been seen drinking together in Lowestoft on July 14.

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