A 73-year-old French retiree was found dead inside his Phuket apartment. He had been dead for up to four days, police say.
With every step, the distinctive foul smell of decay became stronger and the hope weakened as Pharitpong Samwong walked down the aisle to room 49/91 on the 8th floor of a condominium in Patong subdistrict. Mr Pharitpong, a 34-year-old manager of the condo, had been contacted by Udom Suebchad, 43, living in Surin province to check on her boyfriend. She had become worried after numerous attempts to call him failed.
When nobody answered the door, the manager decided to use a master key to gain access to the room. “It was quite shocking,” Mr Pharitpong remembered the gruesome image that was unfolding in front of his eyes. The bloated body of her 73-year-old boyfriend Clau Cadeau was laying on the floor in the living room surrounded by blood and a mix of other bodily fluids. “I then called the police,” Mr Pharitpong said.
Inspector Pol Lt Col Badtiwad Yodkwan at the Patong Provincial Police Station received the information about Mr Cadeau’s death at 15:30 on Saturday afternoon. Together with medical examiner Ratchanog Tanidsukgan from Patong Hospital and rescue volunteers of the Kusontam Foundation, he went to inspect the scene.
“We found the body of Mr Cadeau on the floor in his living room between an armchair and a table,” Pol Lt Col Badtiwad revealed. “He was naked and swollen.” The high humidity and the hot climate had built up gases inside the body, causing his abdomen and other parts to bloat.
Police inspected the room but did not find anything out of the ordinary, Pol Lt Col Badtiwad confirmed. Injuries or other visible marks of violence were not seen on his body during a brief examination conducted by medical examiner Ratchanog Tanidsukgan. “We don’t think the room was ransacked since we found no evidence and all valuables were still left in the room,” Pol Lt Col Badtiwad said.
While rescue workers transported Mr Cadeau’s body to Patong Hospital for further medical examinations, investigators interviewed Mr Cadeau’s girlfriend. According to her, they had been in a relationship for about ten years but were not married. She last saw him on April 9 before she boarded a flight to her hometown in Surin to visit her child from a previous relationship. “When several calls to her boyfriend remained unanswered, she became worried and asked the manager to check on him,” Pol Lt Col Badtiwad quoted the woman.
Police now believe that Mr Cadeau had died of a medical issue. “His girlfriend told us that he was suffering from high blood pressure. We have advised doctors at who carry out the examination to look into that.” The French Embassy has been notified of Mr Cadeau’s death.
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