Nicolas Gilbert Claude César
Bystanders could only watch in disbelief as a French man leapt to his death from the 16th floor of a Phuket hotel. Incredibly, the last moments of his life were captured on video.
The video scenes last only six seconds in total, but the short clip, uploaded onto YouTube, shows Nicolas Gilbert Claude César, 47, standing blindfolded on a railing on the 16th floor of the Andaman Beach Suites hotel. “Come on, man! Get down, buddy! This is not the place to do it,” a bystander cried out. A moment later, Mr Cesar jumped.
The video (currently unavailable) was recorded on Friday morning by Gitisag Duangnirat, a 37-year-old electrician, who was just turning off the light on the 16th floor when he saw Mr César. “I saw him standing on the balcony and tried to talk him out of jumping,” he told police later. “But he jumped anyway.”
Shortly afterwards, Pol Capt Yingyong Chuaigit, an investigator from Patong Provincial Police Station who was notified of the incident at 6:40, arrived on the scene. “We found the body in front of the hotel,” Pol Capt Yingyong told reporters. “His skull was cracked, and several bones were fractured. There was nothing we could do.”
Mr César was not carrying any documents when he died, so police were unable to immediately identify him. Rescue workers transported his body to Patong Hospital while investigators tried to determine his identity and the surrounding circumstances of his apparent suicide.
According to Pol Capt Yingyong, Mr César was not a guest at the Andaman Beach Suites. “We found out his name and where he had been staying. In fact, he had been renting a room since September 29 at a hotel nearby,” he said without revealing any further details.
Police searched his room but did not find anything out of the ordinary. “There were no signs of violence. The room was tidy and all of Mr Cesar’s belongings were stored inside his backpack,” said Pol Capt Yingyong.
On his desk, Police discovered a piece of paper with phone numbers of his relatives in France. Pol Capt Yingyon assumed that Mr César had left them there so that the police could notify his family. He also left a note asking officers to return the scooter he had been renting, including the key and some money.
In an early investigation report, Pol Capt Yingyon wrote that the motivation for Mr Cesar’s apparent suicide remains unclear. “He might have been stressed or depressed,” the investigator speculated, adding that the investigation is ongoing. The French Embassy has been notified of the incident.
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