Murder Next Door

Death Atop Boyfriend at the Shangri-La

The Nation, December 10, 2004

World Bank official found dead in Shangri-La Hotel
Published on December 10, 2004

A South African woman working for the World Bank was found dead under suspicious circumstances in her room at the Shangri-La Hotel and her boyfriend was taken in for questioning, police said yesterday.

World Bank spokeswoman Cristina Mejia confirmed that a staff member had died at a Bangkok hotel. "The authorities are looking into the circumstances surrounding this tragedy and our own security team is working closely with them," she said.

Forensic police said the body of Laura Walker, 35, was brought in on Wednesday afternoon and an autopsy was being carried out.

Police detectives said Walker was found on top of her boyfriend in the bathroom of her hotel room. Both were naked. Her wrist was slashed and her main vein was torn. Her boyfriend also had a slight wound on the wrist and was sent to hospital. A cutter knife was found at the scene.

Walker had stayed in the hotel about four days to attend a World Bank meeting.

Witnesses said her boyfriend came to see her in her room a few hours before the meeting. When the meeting started and she did not turn up, World Bank officials were sent to fetch her but found her dead.

Police suspected that her boyfriend was involved in her death and detained him for investigation.

An e-mail from one of Walkerís friends said, "Our friend Laura Walker died yesterday in Bangkok while in training. Details are still sketchy. All we know at this time is that she was robbed in her hotel and thatís where she died."

Earlier this week, an elderly Swiss tourist was found dead in a hotel room on the resort island of Phuket. Police say she was robbed and beaten to death, possibly by a hotel employee.

The Nation, Associated Press

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