The wife of the 58-year-old Swiss expatriate believes her husband, Herbert Klutz, died of an overdose of prescription painkillers.
Mrs Wijidra Klutz found her husband deceased on the bed of their rented house on Thursday morning. “We were notified of the incident at about 11:20 via radio, but only told at a foreigner had died at his home,” Pol Lt Col Banawut Chotpong told reporters.
Investigators, Pol Lt Col Banawut and Pol Capt Kongdet Baenjankiao, from Chiang Dao Provincial Police Station, were sent to the two-storey house at 456 Mu 1 in the Chiang Dao subdistrict. A doctor from Chiang Dao Hospital and volunteers of a local rescue foundation accompanied investigators to the scene.
When they arrived, Mrs Klutz led them to the main bedroom on the second floor. “We found Mr Klutz lying on the bed with his face up. He was wearing navy-blue shorts, but no top or T-shirt. His skin was very pale when we arrived,” said the lead investigator, Pol Lt Col Banawut later that day. Police believe Mr Klutz had been dead for about one hour before officials arrived.
“We questioned the wife, Mrs Klutz. She told us that her husband had been suffering from a heart-related condition and a herniated disc and explained that he was a frequent visitor to the Chiang Dao Hospital. She added that her husband had recently been complaining about chest pains and been given “a very strong painkiller” by his doctor.
“He lost his appetite and always took a lot of tablets because he was in so much pain,” Mrs Wijidra told investigators. “I think he took too many and ended up overdosing.”
Farang Deaths consulted a doctor at Siriraj Hospital who wished to remain anonymous. He commented, “Based on observations of the victim’s wife, the drug he was most likely using a strong opiate such as morphine or oxycodone,” adding that painkiller overdoses are not uncommon in this day and age.
“Opiates and opioids are among the most effective modern painkillers. However, a heavy overdose can cause respiratory depression or hypoxia which can lead to full breathing arrest. Another common side effect is the loss of appetite.”
According to Mrs Klutz’s statement, the couple married more ten years ago and had been living in Chiang Mai City. A year ago, they moved to a rented house in the quiet subdistrict of Chiang Dao.
Pol Lt Col Banawut surmised that Mr Klutz probably died of heart failure triggered by the overdose but is waiting for the official cause of death to be confirmed by pathologists at Chiang Dao Hospital.
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