Suspected human flesh pieces and diver’s mask tested for DNA

Divers searching for the missing Russian free diver have found two pieces of what were believed to be human flesh, a diver's mask and a green tank top under the sea about 400 metres from the coast of Ao Chaloke Ban Gao on Koh Tao.

All the items salvaged from the seabed at about 4-5 metres deep were on Friday flown in a police helicopter from Koh Tao to the Forensic Institute of the Police General Hospital for DNA tests to determine whether the DNA specimen match with that of the missing Russian woman.

The Koh Tao inquiry police officers in charge of the case were also flown in the same helicopter to meet with Pol Maj-Gen Apichart Boonsrirote, commander of Surat Thani provincial police.

Informed police source said that result of the tests would be available within a week.

Despite the finding of the items, Pol Lt-Col Chokechai Sutthimek, superintendent of Koh Tao police, said that the search would continue with two teams of divers being assigned to scour the sea off Aao Chaloke Ban Gao.

He said police would not rule out any possibilities of disappearance, including murder.

The 23-year old Russian free diver, Ms Valentina Novozhenova, has been missing from her hostel on Koh Tao since February 16.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)