When a tourist did not to return his rented car on time, the rental company tracked it down to his house using its GPS locator. When staff at the rental company went to recover the vehicle, they naturally tried to find the person who had rented it. What they found was a dead body in pool of blood.
A security guard at Lake Valley, a gated community in the Chon Buri’s Bueng subdistrict, contacted Nong Kham Provincial Police Station to report the death. Pol Lt Col Sompong Adiwontada received the call at 11:49 on Wednesday morning and went to investigate house number 22/98 along with superintendent Pol Col Chonpad Nawalag and lead investigator Pol Capt Kongdet Sowapat.
“It was a strange sight,” Pol Capt Kongdet told reporters who had gathered in front of the two-storey house where the incident had happened. “There was an enormous amount of blood on the floor in the living room, but there was no body.”
Investigators had followed their noses towards a strong smell of decomposition coming from the floor upstairs. The body belonged to Michel Bachelleric, a 68-year-old French retiree, who had been living in Lake Valley for more than two years.
Describing the scene, Pol Capt Kongdet said, “Mr Bachelleric’s body lay on the floor next to his bed. He was completely naked and surrounded by a pool of blood.” He continued, “The bloating of the abdomen, as well as the overall condition of the corpse led us to believe that Mr Bachelleric had been dead for at least four days.”
The series of events which led to the discovery of Mr Bachelleric body was as follows: he had rented a Toyota Corolla until June 19 from a rental company in Pattaya. When he failed to return it, the rental company tried to contact him without success. Eventually, the owner decided to use the vehicle’s built in GPS transmitter to track down its location.
The GPS data indicated that the car was parked right in front of Mr Bachelleric’s house and had not been moved since June 17, a full three days before his body was found. At the time, the 56-year-old owner of the rental car company, Mr Sunton, chose to drive to the house and look for Mr Bachelleric. He stated that he was surprised to find the front door unlocked.
“I called his name, but nobody answered,” Mr Sunton told police. “I then went in to the house and saw a massive amount of blood on the floor. I knew there was something very wrong, so I informed one of the security guards at the compound.” When the guard, whose name was not mentioned, saw the blood, he immediately called the police.
During the investigation into the case, police officers questioned Jantagan Chamjaidi, another Lake Valley resident whose house is next to Mr Bachelleric’s. “Mrs Jantagan told us that Mr Bachelleric lived alone and that she had not seen him for four days,” said Pol Capt Kongdet quoting the neighbour. “To her, this was unusual because she was used to seeing Mr Bachelleric walking to a nearby convenience store almost every morning.”
The evening before he was found, Mrs Jantagan said she could smell a strange odour coming from her neighbour’s house. However, she did not contact the authorities because it was not suspicious.
While police continue to investigate the death and find an explanation for the pool of blood in the living room, local rescue workers sent Mr Bachelleric’s body to the Institute of Forensic Science in Bangkok for a post mortem.
“We still don’t know how Mr Bachelleric died,” Pol Capt Kongdet stated. “We hope that the result of the autopsy will help us to find out what happened to him.”
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