A strong smell emanating from the house of a Japanese man in Ubon Ratchathani made neighbours suspicious. When Police opened the door, they were shocked.
Wasana Ponsimma, 43, called Mueang Ubon Ratchathani Provincial Police Station to report a strange smell coming from the building next to her. Pol Lt Col Rungtawi Naban, medical examiner Dr Saksit Bunlak and rescue volunteers drove to the house at 120 Ban Dong Kam Oa village in Kham Yai subdistrict.
Police arrived at the one-storey house at about 13:30. It was the home of Hiroshi Osanai, a 72-year-old Japanese retiree who used to work as a promoter for boxing events in Japan, as police later learned. He had been renting this house for about one year, neighbours said.
Once police gained access to the house, it did not take long to find out what had happened: “We found the body of Mr Osanai with spread out arms and legs and his face up on a mattress in the living room,” Pol Lt Col Rungtawi said. “The body showed no visible injuries or signs that a fight might have had taken place. We believe Mr Osanai died of a pre-existing medical condition.”
Medical examiner Dr Saksit Bunlak from Sunpasitthiprasong Hospital conducted a brief examination of the body. “The cool and dry air of the running air-conditioning and the two fans around the mattress had slowed down the decomposition,” he said. However, the discolouration of the skin leaking fluids led Dr Saksit to the conclusion that “Mr Osanai had been dead at least 15 days before he was found”.
Police investigators inspected the room of the Japanese retiree and found wads of toy money in US dollar, Thai baht and currencies of other countries. A total of 31,520 baht was found in a fanny pack belonging to the diseased.
Ms Wasana Ponsimma, Mr Osanai’s next-door neighbour, told police that he lived alone and spent his day in total isolation. “The only times I saw him was when he came out to buy food and then returned to his home,” Ms Wasana said.
Other neighbours confirmed Ms Wasana’s impression and added that Mr Osanai regularly complained about noises. “He even felt disturbed when it was raining too much,” one of the neighbours said.
Apart from that, there was very little interaction between Mr Osanai and his neighbours. Even though he was able to understand basic Thai, he could not express himself in the same language which often created a language barrier, residents say.
To find out if and what pre-existing medical conditions could have caused his death, rescue volunteers transported Mr Osanai’s body to the autopsy room at Sunpasitthiprasong Hospital.
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