Michel Bachelleric

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When a French retiree did not to return his  rented car, the rental company tracked it down to his house using its GPS locator. When they went to recover the vehicle, they  naturally tried to find the renter, Michel Bachelleric, and in so doing, accidentally found a pool of blood inside his living room.

A security guard at Lake Valley, a gated community in the Chon Buri’s Bueng subdistrict, contacted Nong Kham Provincial Police Station to report the death. Pol Lt Col Sompong Adiwontada received the call at 11:49 on Wednesday morning and went to investigate house number 22/98 along with superintendent Pol Col Chonpad Nawalag and lead investigator Pol Capt Kongdet Sowapat.

“It was a strange sight,” Pol Capt Kongdet told reporters who had gathered in front of the two-storey house where the incident had happened. “There was an enormous amount of blood on the floor in the living room,” he said. “But there was no body.”

Investigators followed their noses towards a strong smell of decomposition coming from the floor upstairs. When officers went to investigate, they found the dead body of Michel Bachelleric, a 68-year-old Frenchman who had been living in Lake Valley for more than two years, investigators.

Describing the scene, Pol Capt Kongdet said, “The body of Mr Bachelleric lay on the floor next to his bed. He was found completely naked with a pool of blood around the body.” He continued, “The bloating of the abdomen, as well as the overall condition of the corpse has led us to believe that Mr Bachelleric had been dead for at least four days.”

The series of events which led to the discovery of Mr Bachelleric body was as follows: he had rented a Toyota Corolla from a rental company in Pattaya until June 19. When he failed to return it, the rental company tried to contact him and, eventually, the company owner decided to use the vehicles built in GPS transmitter to track down its location.

The GPS data showed that the car was parked right in front of Mr Bachelleric’s house and had not been moved since June 17, three days before his body was found. The 56-year-old owner of the rental car company, Mr Sunton, chose to drive to the house  and talk to Mr Bachelleric and was surprised to find the front door unlocked.

“I called his name, but nobody answered,” Mr Sunton told police. “I then went in to the house and saw a massive amount of blood on the floor. I was sure there was something wrong, so I informed one of the security guards at the compound.” When the guard, whose name was not mentioned, saw the amount of blood, he immediately called the police.

During the investigation into the case, police officers questioned Jantagan Chamjaidi, another Lake Valley resident whose house is next to Mr Bachelleric’s. “Mrs Jantagan told us that Mr Bachelleric lived alone and that she had not seen him for four days,” said Pol Capt Kongdet quoting the neighbour. “To her, this was unusual because she was used to seeing Mr Bachelleric walking to a nearby convenience store almost every morning.”

In the evening before he was found, Mrs Jantagan reportedly perceived a strange odour coming from the house. However, she did not contact the authorities because nothing suspicious had happened.

While police continue to investigate the death and find an explanation for the pool of blood in the living room, local rescue workers sent Mr Bachelleric’s body to the Institute of Forensic Science in Bangkok to determine the exact cause of death.

“We still don’t know how Mr Bachelleric died,” Pol Capt Kongdet stated. “We hope that the result of the autopsy will help us to find out what happened to him.”

Henri Paul Jean Melot

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In Phuket, a French expatriate recently diagnosed with cancer, was found dead at his home with a stab wound to his chest. Police ruled the death as a suicide. Lead investigator, Pol Capt Brasert Tongponhom, confirmed the discovery and identified the man as Henri Paul Jean Melot, an 81-year-old retired doctor from Morlaix in France.

Officers of Kamala Provincial Police Station discovered his body slumped in a chair in his living room after being notified at 10:45 on Thursday morning. Despite a knife found sticking out of the left side of his chest, police do not think that Mr Melot had been involved in a crime or struggle. Instead, they surmise the retired doctor inflicted the wound himself as a means of committing suicide. “Since there were no signs of a struggle, we suspect that Mr Melot had stabbed himself with a view to ending his own life,” Pol Capt Brasert told The Phuket News.

Mr Melot’s body was found in a chair next to his computer and TV which were both still switched on. He was wearing black underpants, but nothing else. Forensic police estimated that the deceased had been dead for no longer than four hours prior the arrival of the investigation team.

Rescue workers sent the body to Patong Hospital to conduct a post mortem. Pol Capt Brasert stated, “We have contacted the French Embassy and informed them of Mr Melot’s death.”

Further investigation has revealed that Mr Merlot had been living in his house at 32/13 Mu 3 in Phuket’s Kamala subdistrict with his 52-year-old wife, Mrs Chaloermsi Merlot, for about 20 years. She told police she would have been in the house at the time of her husband’s death.

The Phuket News contacted Mrs Merlot who described the circumstances of her husband’s death in detail. “About three to four months ago, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. I asked him to have surgery, but he refused, saying that he wanted to die in his own bed.” Shortly after this discussion, they agreed to hire a nurse to help take care of him.

According to her account, both Mrs Merlot and his nurse were inside the house. “It was a typical morning,” she explained. “We both woke up at around 09:00, and the nurse was cleaning the bedroom when a friend of mine stopped by to visit.”

She continued, “I went to open the door to my friend and saw my husband sitting on a chair in front of his computer. I was outside for less than five minutes when I heard his chair make a strange scraping noise”.

When she went back into the house to see what had happened, her husband was waving his arms. Assuming he was asking for help to go to the toilet, she went to get his walker. At the same time, the nurse went into Mr Merlot’s room and was shocked to find a knife sticking in his chest.

An article on khontai.com which was shared on Facebook claimed that Mr Merlot became depressed as a result of his diagnosis and bleak prognosis. He even talked about committing suicide either by overdosing on sleeping drugs or by stabbing himself with a knife: an intention he clearly followed through with.

Jerry Ray Byers

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Police in Phuket are continuing their investigation into the death of an American man who was found hanged in his Phuket estate on Sunday morning.

A long-term friend of the deceased, 30-year-old Utan Wongyai, notified Thalang Provincial Police Station at 11:30 of the death, Pol Capt Chadri Chuwichian confirmed. “The incident happened at a house in Toen Fan Village located in Si Sunthon subdistrict of Phuket province,” the investigator told The Phuket News.

After gaining access to the house whose front door had been locked from the inside, police discovered the body of Jerry Ray Byers, 53, who had hanged himself with a bedsheet attached to the top of a bedroom door. Rescue volunteers, who were also present at the scene, untied the body and lay it on the floor.

“A medical examiner from Thalang Hospital estimated that Mr Byers had been dead for about 48 hours,” said Pol Capt Chadri. “We did not find any signs of assault on his body or any evidence of a struggle in the room.”

Friend and witness, Mr Utan, told the investigator that Mr Byers had been renting the estate for seven years and lived alone. The Phuket News quoted Mr Utan as saying, “I tried calling him many times, but he never picked up the phone.”

Thinking this unusual, Mr Utan drove to Mr Byers’s residence and became suspicious when he noticed his friend’s bronze Mazda 2 and his Honda Zoomer X scooter parked in the garage. He immediately called the police.

Officers investigating the case found out from the Immigration Bureau that the day of his death was also Mr Byers’s birthday. “He turned 54 today. We will investigate more to determine if this was just a coincidence or if it had any part in Mr Byers’s apparent suicide,” said Pol Capt Chadri.

Rescue workers took the body to Thalang Hospital and police are in the process of informing the US Embassy of Mr Byers’s death.

Petrus Gerardus Maria Kok

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A 65-year-old Dutchman died after being electrocuted while repairing a water pump at his home in Nong Prue, Chon Buri province.

Nong Prue Provincial Police Station confirmed the June 7 incident and named the deceased as Petrus Gerardus Maria Kok, a 65-year-old expatriate from the Netherlands who had retired to Pattaya several years ago.

“We were notified of the fatal accident at around 18:00,” investigating officer Pol Maj Jirasag Aebfaeng told Thai media. The incident happened at Mr Kok’s house at 16/8 Soi 12 inside Huay Ruamg Village in Chon Buri’s Bang Lamung district.

Police officers and rescue workers arrived at the scene and found Mr Kok’s dead body inside his home with burns to the fingers on his left hand. “We assume Mr Kok had been dead for approximately 30 minutes before we arrived,” Pol Maj Jirasag said.

While investigating the death, officers interviewed his neighbours who had seen him repairing an electric water pump in his backyard. After hearing cries for help, they found Mr Kok struggling to breathe and moved him into his house. He passed away shortly afterwards.

“We inspected the water pump and saw live wires hanging from the water pump,” Pol Maj Jirasag said. “We believe Mr Kok died of electrocution.”

Police have informed the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok of Mr Kok’s death.

Neil Curtis

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Police suspect that an overdose of paracetamol led to the death of a British national on June 7. The 53-year-old male died at his house in Surin province.

Police confirmed his wife called Sikhoraphum Provincial Police Station to inform them of the incident at 13:05 on Wednesday afternoon. “She told us that her husband had died at his home inside Ban Ya Yan village,” deputy investigator Pol Maj Witwat Gaeolao told Thai media. The deceased was identified as Neil Curtis who was born in Portsmouth in England.

When police and a medical examiner from Sikhoraphum Hospital arrived at the couple’s residence, located in Moo 17 in Nong Lek subdistrict, Mr Curtis’s wife Natta Bunjan, 45, led officers to the back of the building. “We found Mr Curtis’ body lying face up on the concrete floor below a hammock,” Pol Maj Witwat explained. “There were no signs of a struggle or other evidence that might indicate that a crime had taken place.”

Police questioned Mrs Natta who revealed that the couple had been married for two years and moved into the house in 2016. The family kept ten cows on their property and owned another 15 rai (2400m²) land plot where Mr Curtis harvested rice. Investigator Pol Maj Witwat quoted Mrs Natta as saying, “The villagers liked him because he was a hard worker and got along well with the community.”

According to Mrs Natta, on the day he died, Mr Curtis had been outside mowing the lawn around the rice field and feeding the cows. Around noon, he returned to take a break and rested in his hammock at the back of their house.

While he was resting, Mr Curtis complained about having a headache. “He took five 500mg Tylenol tablets with some orange juice. He fell asleep shortly afterwards,” Pol Maj Witwat said.

At about 12:45, Mrs Natta reportedly heard a noise in the backyard. When she went outside, she saw that her husband had fallen, face down, out of his hammock. She turned him around and began to administer chest compressions. However, her attempts were fruitless; he was already dead.

After police had finished examining the scene, an ambulance of Sikhoraphum Hospital brought the body to the hospital’s pathology ward for a post-mortem examination. “Based on our investigation, we believe that Mr Curtis died of a paracetamol poisening and that, as a doctor, he likely knew what he was doing.” Pol Maj Witwat indicated that he knew the lethal dose of the drug is generally accepted as being between 10g and 24g.

“We have notified the British Embassy in Bangkok of the incident,” Pol Maj Witwat confirmed. “They are now going to contact Mr Curtis’ relatives to inform them of the sad news and to organise the repatriation of his body back to his home country.”