The woman who entered a van in Thailand carrying Shane Warne’s body in a potential security has been identified.
The woman who managed to enter the van carry Shane Warne’s body has been identified as German national Barbara Woinke.
She was at the centre of an investigation over a potential security breach involving the body of the cricketing legend, which was captured on video.
Prior to Warne’s autopsy being conducted, she was able to enter an ambulance carrying Warne’s body and spend over half a minute alone in the vehicle.
Thai authorities were told the woman knew Warne personally, prompting them to provide her access to pay respects.
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Now her identity has been revealed as Woinke, a former entertainment and travel writer living in Thailand.
The Australian reports she has worked for daily newspapers and magazines such as Instyle, Glamour and Bunte.
Before moving to Koh Samui in Thailand, she lived in Berlin, Paris and New York — according to one online German book retailer selling her travel guide to Lake Garda in Northern Italy.
“(Ms Woinke) always has her passport and diving license in her handbag just in case,” the bio reads.
She was the senior entertainment editor of Glamour magazine in 2010.
A video posted to YouTube in September last year shows Ms Woinke in Koh Samui promoting a tourism networking group called Skal International.
“Hello, I’m Barbara Woinke. I’m originally from Munich in Germany and here on Koh Samui in Thailand I am part of the membership committee of Skal Koh Samui,” she said.
“I must say that Skal is the most amazing network group I have ever known. Even though we are working the same industry it is never a sense of competition, it is rather the opposite.”
A bio posted online by another employer — Kamalaya Wellness resort and health spa retreat — reported she managed public relations for the resort in 2020.
It also said she used to be a stewardess for German airline Lufthansa, where she is said to have served and interviewed a host of famous actors and singers.
Footage showed Woinke carrying a small bunch of flowers and approaching the ambulance which was transporting Warne’s body from Koh Samui where he died, via ferry to the mainland.
Woinke told the ABC she simply wanted to pay her respects and did not mean any harm.
“I am a big fan of him. It’s very sad that we lost him. I just took the flowers to pay condolences,” she said.
“I am sorry about yesterday but I [did] not mean [any] negative act by that. I am a big fan, he is a great player.”
She was accompanied by a Thai woman who spoke to authorities near the ramp entrance to the ferry, reported by ABC to be immigration officials.
The woman says in English, “yeah, yeah she knows him”, followed in Thai by, “thank you very much, she’s a friend”.
They are both then escorted through parked cars to the ambulance where the German woman approaches the driver side window, holding up the flowers to show the driver.
The driver then gets out and walks around the sliding side door of the ambulance, opening the door for the woman, who enters, and closing it behind her.
There are concerns about the length of time the woman spent unaccompanied with Warne’s body.
Thai police though said in a press conference on Monday night that the women did not do anything against the law.
On Monday evening Warne’s family members spoke out about the difficulty of the past few days as they struggle to come to terms with his loss.
Warne’s parents, Keith and Brigitte, described it as a “never-ending nightmare”.
“To find words to adequately express our sadness is an impossible task for us and looking to a future without Shane is inconceivable, hopefully the mountain of happy memories we all have will help us cope with our ongoing grief,” they said.
Son, Jackson described Warne as “the best father and mate anyone could’ve asked for.”
“To my brother, my best friend, to my Dad, I love you so much. I don’t think anything is ever going to fill the void you have left in my heart. Sitting at the poker table, walking around the golf course, watching the Saints and eating pizza is never going to be the same,” he said.
The 52-year-old died of a suspected heart attack on 4 March at a luxury resort villa where he was staying with three friends on Friday night.
Police confirmed on Monday evening the cause of death was natural causes.
“Today investigators received the autopsy result, in which the medical opinion is that the cause of death is natural,” Thailand deputy national police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen said in a statement.
As Australians, and the global cricket community reeled from the shock news of Warne’s death, he was moved on Sunday from Koh Samui hospital to a larger hospital capable of carrying out an autopsy.
The transfer was delayed while the necessary paperwork was organised, the Herald Sun reported.
After reaching the mainland, the ambulance travelled to a hospital in the town of Surat Thani, where doctors conducted the procedure to determine the exact cause of death.
It is not known how long the results will take to be released.
Australian ambassador to Thailand, Allan McKinnon, said hospital staff were facilitating the return of Warne’s remains to Australia as soon as possible.
With Duncan Murray, NCA NewsWire