Tan Soo Lin

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Only one night into their holiday in Hat Yai, the husband of a Malaysian couple woke up in a hotel and found his wife dead next to him on the bed.

The manager of the Grand Pink Hotel on Saneha Nusorn Rd in Songkhla province reported the tragic incident to Hat Yai Provincial Police Station at 7:30 Saturday morning. Deputy Inspector Pol Capt Jamlong Kongsawad took over the case and, along with a medical examiner from Hat Yai Hospital and volunteers of the local rescue foundation Tong Sia Siang Duen, were dispatched to the scene.

Inside an Executive Double room, police discovered the body of Tan Soo Lin, a 39-year-old woman from Malaysia. “She was laying face up on the bed and looked like she was sleeping,” Pol Capt Jamlong described his first impression. “However, Mrs Lin was not asleep; she was already dead.”

“Mrs Lin was wearing navy-blue shorts and a shirt,” the inspector added. A brief on-the-spot examination of the body by the medical examiner did not find any external injuries. “Because of that, we believe that Mrs Lin might have died from a pre-existing medical condition,” Pol Capt Jamlong said.

The investigator’s theory was strengthened by the testimony of Mrs Lin’s husband who wished his name not to be mentioned by the media. Pol Capt Jamlong: “He told us that his wife had been suffering from a lengthy list of serious health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, asthma and thalassemia, a blood disorder. All of them can lead to death.”

Questioned about the circumstances surrounding Mrs Lin’s death, her husband said that they had both entered Thailand from Malaysia for a holiday just one day earlier on Friday, May 26. The couple checked into the Grand Pink Hotel which located in the city centre and, at around 23:30, went to bed.

“Everything was normal,” Mrs Lin’s husband told police. “She didn’t feel sick or behaved in an unusual way, so I thought that everything was fine.” However, when he woke up the next morning, he tried to shake up Mrs Lin, but she did not respond. “I then immediately called the reception and told them we need a doctor as soon as possible.”

Based on the evidence police have collected so far, they concluded that Mrs Lin might have died during her sleep. “A heart failure seems to be the most likely scenario,” Pol Capt Jamlong said. However, he stressed that this was only a theory. The exact cause of death will be determined by pathologists at Hat Yai Hospital within the next week, he said.

Chen Wentuk

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Six days after his disappearance, fishers found the body of a young Chinese tourist floating in the Gulf of Thailand near Koh Tao.

The tourist, who was identified as 18-year-old Chen Wentuk from China, was reported missing on May 18 after he failed to return from a 30-minutes jet ski ride. Soon afterwards, the owner of the jet ski sent his men on a search but found no trace of the missing vessel. The incident was reported to the authorities on Thursday evening.

As ThaiPBS reported, marine police launched an extensive search the following morning to locate the Chinese tourist. More than 20 jet ski riders were deployed who spent the entire day looking for Mr Wentuk in the area around Koh Samui and the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan.

In the hope for support from the public, authorities released several stills of a CCTV recording that showed Mr Wentuk in front of the travel agency on Koh Samui where he had rented the jet ski. He was wearing a navy-blue T-shirt, shorts and black slippers.

On May 21, a fishing boat radioed the marine police and informed them that they had discovered an unmanned jet ski drifting in the sea between the two islands. The exact location was said to be about seven nautical miles from Koh Phangan.

Two days later, another fishing boat finally discovered the body of an Asian male close to Koh Tao. However, due to heavy rainstorms, the team was unable to reach the body right away and had to wait until the next day for the weather to clear off.

“We retrieved Mr Wentuk’s body at about 13:00 on Wednesday,” Koh Samui’s district chief Glanarong Yutitam announced. “We found him close to Samran Pinnacle south of Koh Tao.” Local authorities have already forwarded the information to the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok who will notify Mr Wentuk’s family of the tragic news, he added.

Thomas Oscar Brandt

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A German restaurant owner was fatally injured after he was catapulted out of a curve on Koh Samui. The 48-year-old had died before ambulances arrived.

Daily News reported the accident on the afternoon of Saturday, April 20 on their website. The article said that police had already identified the deceased as Thomas Oscar Brandt, a 48-year-old restaurant owner on the island from Jülich, Germany.

According to investigator Pol Capt Bannam Srinarad, whom the Daily News report quoted, he and additional officers from Bo Put Provincial Police Station were informed of a road accident involving a foreigner at around 13:10. Together with Samui Rescue volunteers, they rushed to the scene in Bo Put subdistrict where the accident had taken place.

Arriving at a curve close to Baan Hin Sai Resort & Spa on highway 4169 which spans around the entire island and is locally dubbed Ring Rd, police and rescue workers discovered the already dead Mr Brandt. He lay behind the traffic barrier. A few metres further on the road lay his red and white Honda Click (license plate 1กง 9621 Surat Thani).

“We found dozens of bruises and scratches all over Mr Brandt’s body,” Pol Capt Bannam told Daily News. “Blood was coming out of his head and ears, indicating that he had sustained a serious head trauma during the crash.” Police also noted a trace of slippy fluid on the side of the road Mr Brandt had been riding on, the investigator said.

“We tried to find someone who had witnessed the actual accident, but it seems like there was nobody present at the time of the crash,” Pol Capt Bannam described the beginning of the investigation into Mr Brandt’s death. Instead, police asked the motorcyclist who had found the body and called the authorities.

“He told us that as he stopped to assist Mr Brandt, he was still alive but in a critical condition. He eventually died before we arrived on the scene.” Another motorcyclist who had fallen off his scooter earlier that day at the same spot but got away with only minor injuries told police that it was the slippy road that had caused him losing control of his vehicle. Users of the Facebook group Roads of Koh Samui also reported similar incidents.

“At this point, the evidence we have collected so far is consistent with the account of the motorists. We suspect that Mr Brandt lost control of his vehicle after driving through the slippy area on the road,” Pol Capt Bannam shared the current stand of the investigation. However, even though police was told that the fluid came from a garbage truck which had lost bits of trash earlier, police have yet to establish the identity of the driver.

Further investigation into the case revealed that Mr Brandt approached the curve at high speed. While being catapulted over the traffic barrier, he collided with a traffic sign behind the wall under which his body was found.

Samui Rescue volunteers transported Mr Brandt’s body to pathology at Koh Samui Hospital which has been ordered by police to establish the official cause of death. Meanwhile, officers informed the German Embassy in Bangkok of the fatal accident.

Anna Maria Zingsheim

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Residents of a town in Nakhon Ratchasima province discovered the body of an elderly German woman floating on a pond next to a temple.

Officers at Cho Ho Provincial Police Station received the report at around 08:30 on Friday morning. Together with volunteers of the Huk 31 Foundation, police investigators to the location where the body was found.

The lifeless body of Anna Maria Zingsheim, 72, was floating on a pond surrounding a building of Wad Sawang Arom at Mu 8 in Khok Sung subdistrict of Nakhon Ratchasima province. Volunteers entered the water and retrieved the body. Several onlookers had gathered around the temple to witness the scene.

After a brief examination of the body, police estimated that the woman had died at least two hours earlier. She was wearing a black t-shirt and trousers but no shoes. Investigators did not find any visible injuries or other signs of foul play.

While volunteers brought Ms Zingsheim’s body to Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital, police began to gather more information about the woman and her puzzling death.

According to an official report, Ms Zingsheim was well-known in the area. The district administration praised her for her voluntary work at the Sawang Arom temple which included cleaning dishes, collecting trash and other services she had been doing for the past ten years.

Monks of the temple told police that Ms Zingsheim was a frequent visitor of Wad Sawang Arom where she regularly made merit. She and her family moved to Thailand 14 years ago and had been living in Nakhon Ratchasima ever since.

Residents told police that Ms Zingsheim’s house was not far from the temple. She usually helped out at the temple every day from 05:00.

At 08:30 Friday morning, a person reportedly spotted Ms Zingsheim’s body floating on the pond about three metres from a prayer hall belonging to Wad Sawang Arom.

A pathologist has yet to carry out a post-mortem examination to establish the official cause of death. However, police believe that she slipped and fell into the water while sweeping the floor outside of the temple. She may have drowned, police said.

Đậu Trung Hiế

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A quarrel between a Vietnamese couple in a taxi ended deadly for the boyfriend. After admitting he had cheated on his girlfriend, rushed to Bangkok Noi Canal to drown himself.

According to Khaosod Online, Bangkok Noi Police Station was alarmed of an incident involving a Vietnamese man who had jumped into Bangkok Noi Canal and was quickly was lost out of sight. Police received the call from the girlfriend of the man at around 08:00 on Thursday morning.

When police arrived at the Naval Transportation Ship Division close to Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok Noi subdistrict, officers met a visibly distressed woman. She identified herself as Ms Ti, 19, who was the boyfriend of Đậu Trung Hiế, the man who had jumped into the canal.

While divers of the Poh Teck Tung Foundation were searching for Mr Hiế, his girlfriend, who is also a Vietnamese national, told police what had happened. According to her, she and her boyfriend, who also went by his nickname Tai, had been at a birthday party in Bangkok Noi subdistrict before the incident happened.

Since Mr Hiế was drunk and was unable to drive, the couple hired a taxi that would bring them to Thonburi where both of them lived. But shortly after the couple had gotten into the vehicle, a fight broke out between them.

“At one point, he confessed that he has cheated on me with another girl,” Ms Ti told police investigators. “Of course, I was angry at him and demanded answers. The quarrel quickly turned into a serious fight.”

As the couple approached Arun Amarin Bridge, Mr Hiế told the driver of the taxi to pull over quickly. “He then suddenly exited the cab and ran towards the Bangkok Noi Canal where the Naval Transportation Ship Division is located,” Ms Ti said. “I followed him, but he was faster than me.”

From a distance, she saw her boyfriend jumping into the water and swimming as away as fast as he could. He was soon out of sight, she panicked and called the police who arrived shortly afterwards.

It took divers over an hour until they found Mr Hiế’s body far south from the spot where he had jumped. Police confirmed that he had already died of drowning.

A spokesperson of Bangkok Noi Police Station said that the case is still under investigation. However, he said, the cause of death is almost certain.

Police notified the tragic incident to the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangkok. Rescue workers transported Mr Hiế’s body to Siriraj Hospital to confirm the cause of death.