Jerry Ray Byers
Police in Phuket are continuing their investigation into the death of an American man who was found hanged in his Phuket estate on Sunday morning.
A long-term friend of the deceased, 30-year-old Utan Wongyai, notified Thalang Provincial Police Station at 11:30 of the death, Pol Capt Chadri Chuwichian confirmed. “The incident happened at a house in Toen Fan Village located in Si Sunthon subdistrict of Phuket province,” the investigator told The Phuket News.
After gaining access to the house whose front door had been locked from the inside, police discovered the body of Jerry Ray Byers, 53, who had hanged himself with a bedsheet attached to the top of a bedroom door. Rescue volunteers, who were also present at the scene, untied the body and lay it on the floor.
“A medical examiner from Thalang Hospital estimated that Mr Byers had been dead for about 48 hours,” said Pol Capt Chadri. “We did not find any signs of assault on his body or any evidence of a struggle in the room.”
Friend and witness, Mr Utan, told the investigator that Mr Byers had been renting the estate for seven years and lived alone. The Phuket News quoted Mr Utan as saying, “I tried calling him many times, but he never picked up the phone.”
Thinking this unusual, Mr Utan drove to Mr Byers’s residence and became suspicious when he noticed his friend’s bronze Mazda 2 and his Honda Zoomer X scooter parked in the garage. He immediately called the police.
Officers investigating the case found out from the Immigration Bureau that the day of his death was also Mr Byers’s birthday. “He turned 54 today. We will investigate more to determine if this was just a coincidence or if it had any part in Mr Byers’s apparent suicide,” said Pol Capt Chadri.
Rescue workers took the body to Thalang Hospital and police are in the process of informing the US Embassy of Mr Byers’s death.
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