July 17, 2016

Klaas Donel Crawfird

Police are trying to stitch together the events of what happened on the property of an animal shelter in Phetchaburi province where the foreign owner was found dead with several gunshot wounds to his body this morning.

The incident happened at the Kennel Scandinavia Hotel for Dogs, Cats and Birds Co., Ltd. in Bang Bong Geng Moo 8 village, Rai Mai Patthana subdistrict. According to its website, it is being used as an animal shelter which, it says, offers “[f]irst class boarding facilities for your pets” serving as a “hotel for dogs, cats & birds with 50 years of experience in caring for them.”

Pol Col Somdet Tidwattanasagun, the Commander of Phetchaburi Provincial Police Station, interrogated 48-year-old Paitun Getsaeng. He was one of the employees who took care of the animals and also the first person who discovered the body when he arrived for work at around 8:30 Tuesday morning.

Investigating the scene of the crime, police officers saw the already-dead 68-year-old owner lying with his back on the floor of the kitchen. The body was spangled with gunshot wounds of a high calibre. An entry wound was found on the face of the deceased and seven on the body’s left side. His stomach, chest and arms were also penetrated with gunshots. Doctors presumed death had occurred at least 12 hours earlier.

In Thai media, there is still confusion regarding the name of the victim. Whereas Manager Online mentioned his name in an article published on 12:39 as Lars Donald, the Facebook page of the rescue volunteers (see source), who were also on the scene, named the deceased in a public report posted over two hours later as Klaas Donel Crawfird. Both names are transcriptions from Thai script and might differ from the original spelling.

Police investigated the surroundings and discovered a Phetchaburi registered black Toyota Vigo with a gunshot hole in the window of the right backdoor. Behind the house, officers collected an empty shotgun cartridge as evidence.

Residents from the area told police that Mr Crawfird was well-known and cherished for taking care of the otherwise homeless animals. His passion for dogs might come from his past: Before his retirement, Mr Crawfird used to work as a trainer for police dogs in his native Sweden.

After collecting all the evidence available, Pol Col Somdet told the media it was likely that Mr Crawfird was surprised while he was working at his computer which is located next to the kitchen. “He must have tried to save his life by climbing through the kitchen window,” Pol Col Somdet added. “But it was already too late.”

Police later found, Pratheep Sangsiri, 42, to be the culprit. He was Mr Crawford’s neighbour and allegedly slaying him claiming the victim had insulted him and his family on several occasions.

During the interrogation, the suspect confessed he had carried out the shooting in a fit of anger over the victim’s allegedly repeated insulting remarks, slandering of him and his family members.

Armed with a shotgun, he drove his pickup to the Swede’s house on July 17. When he arrived, he saw the victim walking around. He fired one shot, hitting the victim’s body, and the wounded Swedish man ran to hide in his house, said the suspect.

Mr Pratheep then went to the back of the house and saw the victim carrying a pistol. He then fired one more shot at the man. As the man fell, the suspect walked up to him and fired another shot in the head before fleeing.

When he arrived back at his own house, he hid the shotgun, police said. Police had earlier looked into personal and business conflicts as possible motives for the killing. Officers said the slain Swedish man had lived in the house for eight years.

Case Updates

Case Details

Source Facebook
Date of Death: July 17, 2016
Last Edited: 11 months ago
Age: 68 years
Gender: Male
Nationality: Swedish
Cause of Death: Homicide
Province: Phetchaburi
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