Maxine Vernice Missick
Police are puzzled over the death of a British woman in Songkhla province. The 23-year-old mysteriously fell to her death from the 31st floor of a hotel in Had Yai early on Friday morning.
A passing motorbike taxi driver notified Had Yai Provincial Police Station after he heard a noise of an impact coming from an aisle between the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel and the Grand Plaza Hotel in Songkhla’s Had Yai subdistrict. Inspector Pol Lt Col Sonpet Dandiamonchaigun was assigned to lead the investigation into the incident.
Speculation that a hotel guest had fallen from one of the hotel rooms turned out to be true according to police officers and Tong Sia Siang Teung rescue workers arrived on the scene at about 05:00 early Friday morning. In the aisle between the hotels, they found the body of a foreign woman with injuries matching those of an impact from great height.
“At first, we did not know who she was because she did not have any identification documents on her,” Pol Lt Col Sonpet said. “But she looked as if she was of African descent which made the investigation somewhat as there are only a small number of Africans staying in Had Yai,” he added. Police contacted the two closest hotels in an effort to identify the woman and found an employee at Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel who remembered a woman of colour checking into the hotel earlier that day.
“A copy of the victim’s passport identified her as Maxine Vernice Missick who was 23 years old and a British citizen,” Pol Lt Col Sonpet revealed. Only five days before her death, Ms Missick had uploaded a series of pictures on her Facebook profile> where she appeared to look happy. In her last post on August 20 at 20:19, she wrote: “Greetings from The Ruen Benjamart !! To welcoming Miss Maxine Missick,” adding that she had booked a room for three days at the guesthouse, just 4 kilometres away from the hotel area where her body was actually found.
On June 22, Ms Missick announced on Facebook that she had just joined the Institute For Molecular Medicine Research in Penang, Malaysia. Her profile describes her as an “introverted extrovert & avid foodie who ❤s community work, healthcare, networking, travel and dance.”
Hotel records indicate that the victim had checked into the three-star hotel on August 21. She was unaccompanied and staying in room no. 3103 on the 31st floor. A copy of her TM6 arrival card attached to her passport showed that Ms Missick had entered Thailand on August 18. According to the visa exemption rule for EU citizens, she would have been allowed to remain in the Kingdom until September 16.
Pol Lt Col Sonpet stated: “The victim was wearing a long red dress and was already dead when we arrived. Her neck was broken, and both of her legs showed severe fractures. A few metres from where her body was discovered, we found a single shoe which most likely belonged to her.”
Police inspected Ms Missik’s room on the 31st floor and found it locked from the inside. After gaining access to the room by using a master key, police saw that one of the windows stood wide open. “We looked down the window and saw the same aisle where we found Ms Missick’s body,” Pol Lt Col Sonpet said.
Since there were no signs of a fight or any other indication that Ms Missick was a victim of crime, police surmise that she either fell by accident or committed suicide. “As with all suicides, it is hard if not impossible for us to find out the motivation for her final action.”
However, Pol Lt Col Sonpet assured the media that they would continue the investigation to get to the bottom of the circumstances. They are waiting for a detailed autopsy and toxicology report from Hat Yai Hospital before drawing any final conclusions.
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