Forensic experts in Bangkok are trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of an unidentified Westerner found in the water off Koh Phangan with a backpack filled with rocks.
The man’s body was sent from Surat Thani province to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bangkok after he was found drifting off Koh Phangan on Thursday afternoon.
Apichart Boonsriroj, the Surat Thani police commander, requested the forensic examination after police in Koh Phangan district were unable to identify the deceased or reach a conclusion on the cause of death.
The man, believed to be a European, was found in the Gulf of Thailand about 500 metres off Chalok Lam Beach. He was found wearing only blue shorts. With him was a backpack in which police found a toothbrush, an iPhone charger and, to their surprise, five massive rocks.
Pol Col Kusol Pankerd, a deputy superintendent with the Koh Phangan police station, said on Thursday that the man might have been dead for up to five days.
Pol Maj Gen Apichart said there was no conclusive evidence of the cause of his death and did not rule out homicide. The rocks inside the backpack could have been used to add weight for diving, but they could also have been used by a killer to weigh the body down, he added.
Police on Koh Phangan are asking all resorts to review their guest registers to determine if anyone is unaccounted for.
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