Police suspected foul play when a man’s body was discovered in shallow water, tied to a concrete pile on the popular tourist island Koh Lan on Friday, December 16th.
The man, who had no identification documents on him, was described as being between 170 and 175 centimetres tall and of caucasian appearance. Based on his appearance, police surmised he was either European or North American.
The unidentified man, wearing a Mares wetsuit and flippers, was discovered by a passerby on a jet ski who alerted authorities. The body was recovered just off Samae Beach. When authorities arrived, they had to cut it free and haul it ashore.
Pattaya police chief Pol Col Apichai Krobpetch confirmed that the death “looked unnatural”. The victim’s throat had been slashed. Bizarrely, the man had been wearing a backpack. This had been attached to some buoys and then tied to a concrete pile. Inside the backpack, police found around 1,500 baht in cash.
Pattaya police chief Pol Col Apichai Krobpetch said investigators were working on two possible theories: murder or suicide under special circumstances.
After a six-day joint investigation between officers from Muang Pattaya Police Station, Chon Buri Provincial Police Station and the tourist police, The Bangkok Post reported that authorities believed the deceased to be Frank Thomas, a 45-year old American citizen.
Mr Thomas’s passport indicates that he initially arrived in Thailand on a tourist visa in 2013 and frequently renewed it. Apparently, on December 14, Mr Thomas had gone to Koh Larn, a place he often went diving and catching fish with a spear gun. Police are still seeking the whereabouts of Mr Thomas’s wife in order to interview her.
Rescue workers sent the body for an autopsy at the Institute of Forensic Science at Police General Hospital in Bangkok.
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