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A British man who works as an English teacher at a university in Thailand has denied murdering his Thai wife, whose remains were found in moorland in England in 2004.
The woman’s body was found by walkers Horton-in-Ribblesdale in the Yorkshire Dales in northern England who had unwittingly been posing for photos alongside, without realising what it was.
For 15 years, mystery surrounded the identity of the woman, who was dubbed ‘Lady of the Hills’, and whose case featured widespread coverage in the UK as the authorities attempted to identify her.
Because the woman could not be formally identified, despite several media appeals, she was buried in an unmarked grave in Horton-in-Ribblesdale churchyard, where the headstone reads: “The Lady of the Hills. Found 20th Sept 2004. Name Not Known. Rest in Peace.”
But due to a breakthrough in DNA, and with the help of the authorities in Thailand, the woman was recently identified as Lamduan Seekanya.
Now The Sun reports that police in the UK are investigating Lamduan’s marriage to British man David Armitage, 55, who is now in Thailand where he works as an English teacher at Rajabhat University in Kanchanaburi.
David told The Sun: “I didn’t kill my wife. Absolutely not.”
Last month, following a cold case review and publicity in the Thai media, an elderly couple living in Udon Thani came forward saying they believed the ‘Lady of the Hills’ was their daughter, Lamduan, who they last heard from in 2004 and who had moved to the UK in the 1990s after meeting a British man.
Joomsri Seekanya, 72, said her daughter posed a striking resemblance to a sketch issued by police in one of the appeals to identify the ‘Lady of the Hills’.
Mrs Joomsri told police her daughter, who had two children with David Armitage, would now be 52, and that contact with her stopped abruptly in 2004, around the time the body of the ‘Lady of the Hills’ was found.
Police initially thought the woman, who was found half naked, had died of hyperthermia after becoming lost on the hills. An open verdict was later recorded at an inquest to her death.
However, a cold case review in 2016 suggested the woman was killed and police in the UK investigated the possibility she was a ‘Thai bride’ who had moved to England and was killed.
Forensic tests which were not available at the time, later found that Lamduan had spent time living in a rural area of south Cumbria or northern Lancashire.