Karl Olof Dahl
Police in Udon Thani are investigating the death of a 55-year-old man from Sweden. He was found having hanged himself at a resort for unknown reasons.
Officers of the Mueang Udon Thani Provincial Police Station were notified at around 18:00 on Wednesday, August 15. “The owner of the resort contacted us and us that one of her foreign guests had hanged himself,” Pol Capt Tidinan Sichiangwang said.
Police, a medical examiner from Udon Thani Hospital and rescue volunteers of the Udon Sawang Metatam Foundation were sent to the resort in Nong Bua subdistrict of Udon Thani province to inspect the scene.
The owner of the resort, Ms Namkang Gangwibun, led police to a wooden bungalow in an isolated part of the resort surrounded by trees. For three months, this one-storey house was the rented home of Karl Olof Dahl, a 55-year-old artist and painter from Sweden who was found dead next to his bungalow.
Police first inspected the house. “In the bedroom, we found some coins and 20-baht-bills spread all over the floor. A fan we found on a chair next to the bed was still running,” Pol Capt Tidinan described the scene. “No valuables have been stolen,” the investigator added.
The bungalow was surrounded by trees. About 20 metres next to the house, police found Mr Dahl’s body. Pol Capt Tidinan: “He was kneeling on the ground. His neck was attached to a cloth which had been fixed to a tree branch above him.” A brief medical examination revealed that he had indeed hanged himself and that he had died between eight and ten hours earlier.
Resort owner Ms Namkang explained why it took so long for anyone to discover the dead Mr Dahl: “I was not at the resort during the day because I had to attend a meeting in the city centre which ended in the evening.”
The first person to spot Mr Dahl was a female worker who works at the resort. The woman, whose identity was not revealed by the police, said that she saw Mr Dahl from far away kneeling on the ground under some trees. “She told us that, since she was so far away, she assumed that Mr Dahl was relieving himself or praying,” Pol Capt Tidinan told Thai media.
Her suspicion grew when she saw him in the afternoon still sitting in the same position. In the evening, police said, he was still kneeling on the ground, so she decided to check on their Swedish guest. Only then it became clear that Mr Dahl was dead.
When Ms Namkang returned from her meeting, the worker told her the shocking news. Ms Namkang then called the police to inspect the scene, Pol Capt Tidinan said.
Further investigation into the case revealed that Mr Dahl, who had been living in the rented bungalow for three months, was an artistic painter with a “weird character”, the Ms Namkang described her guest. Two days earlier, Mr Dahl was involved in a fight and was brought home by tourist police officers after deescalating the brawl.
After the fight, Mr Dahl started to complain about a severe headache. “He wanted to see a doctor at the hospital, but due to heavy rain, he did not manage to make the trip,” Ms Namkang remembered.
Police ordered rescue workers to bring the body to the forensic department at Udon Thani Hospital. “We have informed the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok of Mr Dahl’s death. They are now in the process to forward the sad news to his family,” Pol Capt Tidinan confirmed.
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