The fatal fall of a 21-year-old Dutch tourist is puzzling police. The young man fell from the 5th floor of a condominium belonging to a transgender woman he had met some hours earlier.
News of the incident reached Pol Capt Rungrot Dorai at Bang Yi Khan Police Station in Bangkok’s Bang Plad district at about 03:30 on early Monday morning. “A transsexual woman living in the Ivy Residence> condominium called us to report the death of a foreigner whom, she said, had fallen from her balcony on the 5th floor and was deceased,” Pol Capt Rungrot said.
Shortly afterwards, a forensic team and a medical examiner from Siriraj Hospital arrived at the 20-storey-condominium on 299 Somdet Phra Pin Klao Rd together with Pol Maj Narong Mankong. In addition, rescue volunteers of the local Ruam Katanyu Foundation provided assistance at the scene.
On the concrete floor of the ramp leading up to the car park, police discovered the lifeless body of a young European man. Officers identified him through his driving license in his pocket as a 21-year-old Dutch national called Rik Salmans>.
“Mr Salmans was found lying on his side with his head resting on the ground,” Pol Maj Narong described the scene. “His head had been fractured and was bleeding heavily. Several bones, especially in his arms and legs, had been broken as well.”
According to photographs of the incident, Mr Salmans was wearing navy-blue jeans shorts and a black and white striped t-shirt. He was still wearing his shoes – a pair of yellow sneakers – when his body was found.
Next to the body investigators found a white Honda Jazz car with license plate ญฎ 6819 Bangkok. “The roof of the vehicle was full of dents. We believe that Mr Salmans landed on the roof and subsequently rolled off the car,” lead investigator Pol Capt Rungrot said.
Police questioned, 37-year-old Pimonpat Goratana, the ladyboy> who had previously reported the police. “Ms Pimonpat explained to us that she met Mr Salmans only a few hours earlier in a bar in Khao San Road where she had been drinking with her friends,” Pol Capt Rungrot said. “Shortly after 03:00, she and Mr Salmans went back to her room together.”
According to Ms Pimonpat, the time between their arrival at room no. 511 on the 5th floor and Mr Salmans’s fatal fall was short. “After they had arrived, Mr Pimonpat went to the bathroom, she told us. When she came out a few minutes later, she noticed that the door to the balcony of the room was open. Mr Salmans was nowhere to be seen. She proceeded to look down the balcony and immediately saw the body. She then called us.”
Police are now in the process of gathering more evidence. “We have requested footage from the CCTV camera on the 5th floor and are going to talk to some more people.” police plan to reinterview Ms Pimonpat again with the aim of determining whether Mr Salmans’s fall might have been an alcohol-related accident. Rescue workers sent Mr Salman’s body to Siriraj Hospital to await an autopsy.
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