December 6, 2014

Stig Johan Kristian Hammarsten

A Swedish backpacker was found hanged inside a deserted high-rise building in Bangkok’s Sathorn district on Friday evening. Forensic police said the man, aged in his thirties, has died for at least a week before. Suicide was first believed to be the cause. Police later identified the tourist as Mr Stig Johan Kristian Hammarsten, 30.

He was found hanged to a beam at an bandoned construction site by a photographer who had sneaked past the guard into the building which is famous for its spectacular sunrise view over the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. But it took a while before people believed the photographer’s story.

The photographer, Natthawat, also chef at a hotel restaurant, rang the traffic radio station, Jor Sor 100, which alerted Yannawa police to inspect the scene.

He said he found the body in the 49-storey Sathorn Unique Tower building, on Chaoroenkrung Soi 51 off Charoenkrung Road while going up there to take photos as part of his hobby of photographing bird-eye’s views of the capital. The building was deserted for over a decade during the major financial crisis.

He told JS 100 station that after taking photos on the roof-deck of the 49-storey building at about 11:00 on Friday, he went down and smelt bad ordour coming out a bathroom on the 43rd floor. When he came in, he found the body hanging on a beam.

Shocked by the grisly encounter, he tried in vain to contact police. But he said he told what he found to concerned authorities which included 191, 199, 193 and even charity foundations but none of them paid much attention to his story.

He said he also walked up to a traffic police before boarding a sky train back home. The officer just recommended what he should do but said he could not do much because it was not his area of responsibility.

He then returned home and felt very uncomfortably about what he found and whether any authority would trust him and check the building. He eventually informed JS 100.

The station later alerted Por Teck Tueng Foundation rescue workers who went to the building with the police at 19:00. However they didn’t go up waiting for him to arrive and guide them to the place. He said it was until 22:30 Friday night that he arrived and led them up and found the body.

A wooden stair, a rice box and an empty can of beer were found near his body. A black wallet containing a driving licence issued by Swedish authorities and two credit cards was found in his jeans. Immigration documents showed he arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on November 10 and stayed at a guest house on Khao Sarn road. But he went missing from his rented room since November 20 and the guest house has open the room for other customer to rent.

Yannawa police superintendent Pol Lt-Col Sanchai Matkamcan said preliminary examination indicated the Swedish backpacker committed suicide. Police said they would contact relatives of the Swedish victim whose name was on the driving licence. His body was sent to Police General Hospital for autopsy.

Case Details

Source ThaiPBS
Date of Death: December 6, 2014
Last Edited: 1 year ago
Age: 30 years
Gender: Male
Nationality: Swedish
Cause of Death: Suicide
Province: Bangkok
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