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Gazette Premium Content Thai police: US tourist likely killed by elephants

Associated Press Updated: January 23, 2014 at 6:00 am

BANGKOK (AP) — Park rangers in Thailand have found the body of an American tourist who was apparently trampled to death by elephants in a reserve outside Bangkok, police said Thursday.

The woman went missing Jan. 13 in Thailand's Kaeng Krachan National Park in the western province of Petchaburi, said police Col. Woradet Suanklaai.

She was found crumpled in the woods five days later, after a 70-person search team was deployed, and the severity of the injuries indicated she was likely trampled to death.

"Her arms, her wrists and other parts of the body were broken, so we assumed she was trampled by elephants because no humans could have caused such powerful damage to the body," Woradet said. Police sent the body to a forensic institute in the capital to determine the cause of death, he said.

The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok confirmed the death, but gave no details.

Kaeng Krachan is the largest national park in Thailand, covering nearly 3,000 square meters (32,300 square feet) of forest. It is 200 kilometers (124 miles) southwest of Bangkok.

Woradet said the woman, who was in her 20s, was traveling alone when she left a camping ground in the park.

"Looking at the pictures she took in her camera, we see a lot of animals, birds, snakes, lizards," Woradet said. "We assumed she wanted to take pictures of elephants because that's what the Kaeng Krachan National Park is famous for. We believed she wanted to find them and take some photos."

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