The Australian woman who was stabbed to death Wednesday night in Phuket has been identified as 60-year-old travel agent Michelle Smith from Perth.
"I'm off to Phuket on Monday. I'm looking forward to sipping cocktails by the pool in the warm sunshine," Smith e-mailed her family last Saturday about the Thailand trip, according to Brisbane Times.
Five days later, Smith's family received news of her tragic demise.
Alan Gordon, Smith's brother, told Times the murderers were cowardly, leaving his sister without a chance.
Business trip gone wrong
Smith and nine other travel agents arrived in Phuket on Monday to inspect the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort as part of the industry practice. She just had dinner with her companions when two men on a motorcycle tried to snatch her bag. The tragedy struck around 10:30pm local time.
Smith refused to let go of her bag, and the snatcher stabbed her in the chest, causing her death. [Story here.]
"Michelle was very much loved. It's just hard to come to grips with. I suppose tomorrow it will sink in, I don't know," Gordon said.
She's got the travel bug
Gordon said his sister developed passion for travelling at an early age. She took off for a world adventure when she was 18 years old, he told Times.
In her early 20s, Smith came back to Australia and became an award-winning travel agent. She got married and later had two kids.
Despite having traveled frequently, Gordon recalls Smith's trips had always been smooth sailing. In fact, she had been to Phuket previously without encountering major problems.
Planning the next trip: New York in September
Brisbane Times reported that Smith had sent an email to family and friends who celebrated her 60th birthday just last month.
"I can't express in words how touched I was to have you all in Perth for my celebration of 60 years," Smith wrote, adding that she was going to fly out for another adventure, this time in New York.
"My dream is now a reality... next September I will be off to New York. yah! (who is coming with me???)," she wrote.
Thai police are now investigating on the incident. No arrests have been made as of Thursday afternoon.
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