Stephen Daniel Bane
When a 71-year-old retiree complained of a headache one Sunday afternoon, no-one thought much about it – until he was later found dead at his home in Chiang Mai province.
Police confirmed that Stephen Daniel Bane, from Illinois in the US, had been found dead at 88/2 Gu Daeng Village (Moo 6) in Chiang Mai’s Nong Faek subdistrict, around 15 kilometres south of the famous Doi Suthep mountain.
“We were notified of the death of a foreign male at around 15:00 and immediately contacted medical examiners from Sarapee Hospital and rescue volunteers for assistance,” reported Lead investigator, Pol Lt Col Nopadon Pimasisirilai from Sarapee Provincial Police Station.
When authorities arrived at the property, Mr Bane’s wife led authorities to the bathroom. Her husband’s lifeless body was slumped on the tiled floor: his shoulders leaning against the tiled wall due to the cramped space inside the shower stall.
Pol Lt Col Nopadon Pimasisirilai remarked, “Mr Bane was wearing grey shorts and a white Heineken vest when he fatally collapsed. It seems he had been doing some renovation work at the time of his death in a hot and stuffy room. We found a small brush and paint pot inside the shower stall next to his body.”
A medical examiner briefly examined the body at the scene, but declared “nothing out of the ordinary”. In a preliminary statement, he said he suspected a ruptured aneurysm, surmising that a combination of Mr Bane’s age, a possible pre-existing medical condition and the heat in the bathroom may all have contributed to his death.
Mr Bane’s wife, known only by her nickname, “Eh”, told police that the couple had been married for several years, but had no children. They had been only just finished renovating their house, and her husband had been doing some finishing touches in the bathroom that day.
According to Eh’s official statement, on the afternoon of his death, her husband had complained about a severe headache. Shortly after, he cancelled the gardener who was supposed to do work around the garden saying his headache had worsened and become more intense.
Before heading off to the shower stall in the bathroom with his painting utensils, Mr Bane had called a friend who lived in the Hong Dong district and asked him to come over to help him.
At around 15:00, Mrs Bane had been taking an afternoon nap in a nearby bedroom. It was shortly after that time that Mr Bane’s friend arrived and stumbled across her husband’s body in the shower stall.
In a closing statement, Pol Lt Col Nopadon said: “We have scheduled a post-mortem examination at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital to remove conjecture and find out the actual cause of death.” The US Embassy in Bangkok has already forwarded the sad news to Mr Bane’s relatives in the US.
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