Five weeks after he went missing in Pattaya, a Scotsman has now been identified. It turned out the man had been lying dead in a morgue after mysteriously dying during a stay with a ladyboy.
On May 15, Pol Capt Wirajud Ganggala, deputy investigator from Mueang Pattaya Provincial Police Station, had received a call at around 5:00 early morning about the death of a foreign national inside the “Sweetheart” hotel in Nongprue, Bang Lampu, Chon Nuri. Rescue volunteers from Sawangboriboon 9 Pattaya offered medical assistance.
Police investigated the second floor where the man had stayed and discovered the victim completely naked lying on the floor. A brief inspection of the body did not reveal any injuries or marks that indicated that a crime had occurred. In the room, police temporarily detained a 22-year-old ladyboy named Mr Supot whom he spent the night with when the incident occurred.
Investigators were not able to find any documents identifying the man. However, in the wake of the search for a Scotsman, who had gone missing on May 14, police figured out on June 20 that the unknown man was 35-year-old Steve Balfour from Scotland. A tattoo of his daughter’s name on the forehand identified him.
Questioning Mr Supot, he told investigators he was originally from Buriram province and had met the foreigner in Walking Street, a famous red light district. Mr Balfour was heavily intoxicated, and both agreed to pay 3,000 baht for spending the night together. After agreeing to the terms, they made their way to the foreigner’s hotel.
While they were having sexual intercourse, Mr Supot suddenly heard a loud bang slamming coming from his head against the concrete wall. Mr Balfour lost consciousness and laid motionless on top of Mr Supot. Thinking his customer had already finished, he moved him to roll over, but he did not react. That was the moment when Mr Supot started to worry something might have happened to his customer.
When he eventually turned the body around, he made the shocking discovery the man had died with his eyes wide open. He immediately rushed downstairs and asked the receptionist to call an ambulance and police officers.
Mr Balfour had travelled to Pattaya for holiday and to visit his daughter who now lives with her Thai mother. The 35-year-old split from his wife in a bitter divorce last year. A close friend has claimed that he warned during a Facebook chat: “If anything ever happens to me, it’s her that’s done it.”
Mr Balfour served in the Royal Scots from 1995 to 2010. He then got a job as a bodyguard with Olive Group, a security firm who work in trouble spots around the world. Whenever he got to leave, Steve flew to Thailand to spend time with his daughter. Every time he arrived in the country, he checked into the Baan Tong Tong resort in the Nong Yai area of Pattaya.
The resort’s manager, Mike Williams, told how he was knocked unconscious by a “large American” in a bar before he went missing. The incident happened at the Billabong Golf Club on the outskirts of Pattaya. The family of Mr Balfour had expected the worst: “I know for a fact that he would never take his own life,” the 54-year-old father of Mr Balfour said. “We are certain he has been killed or murdered.”
Now that the devastating news of his death has reached them, Mr Balfour’s family is pushing for further investigation to determine whether the death really was an accident of if their son had been a victim of murder.
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- June 21, 2016: "Body of missing Scottish dad Steve Balfour is found in police morgue in Thailand" (dailyrecord.co.uk)