William Andrew Webb
Authorities in Yasothon province have reported the death of an American man. The 54-year-old man was found dead in his apartment – five days after his death.
Pol Lt Col Mondri Sisutam, an inspector at Mueang Yasothon Provincial Police Station, said he was contacted by the housemaid of an apartment block at about 10:30. “She reported that she has found a dead foreigner lying on the floor inside his apartment.”
Police notified rescue volunteers to assist them in the case. Forensic police and a medical examiner from Yasothon Hospital were also called to the scene.
The building in which the dead man was said to have died had just been completed, several other adjacent rooms were still under construction. Police did not reveal the name of the business that where the man had died. However, Pol Lt Col Mondri> mentioned that the incident happened on Liang Rd in the district of Mueang Yasothon district near a Tesco Lotus.
In the room, police found the naked body of an overweight man with brown hair. “He was laying with his face up on the floor in front of his bed,” Pol Lt Col Mondri said. Police found drivers license which identified the man as William Andrew Webb, 54.
The smell in the small room was unbearable, one of the officials who had entered the apartment said. “We were all wearing face masks and covered our nose with our hands, but that changed nothing.” Police estimate that Mr Webb had been dead in his room for at least five days.
The reason for this unusual strong smell, an officer of the forensic police said, was the advanced stage of decomposition the body was undergoing. “After five days in this hot, humid environment, body gases inside the stomach of the deceased bloat and release body fluids,” the specialist said.
The medical examiner of Yasothon Hospital briefly examined the body and could not see any wounds or other marks which would suggest a fight. The investigator who had checked the room in the meantime also did not find anything out of the ordinary. For a more thorough examination and to determine the cause of death, volunteers brought Mr Webb’s body to Sunpasitthiprasong Hospital in Ubon Ratchathani.
An interview with Sopa Laghan, the landlord of the building, gave police inspectors crucial information. “Last June, I think, he arrived here and booked two rooms, one for staying and one as a storage room.,” Mr Sopa said.
“He could speak Thai and worked in a language school in Roi Et. Almost every day, I saw him getting on his motorbike in the morning and driving off to school. He returned in the later afternoon and usually just went straight into his room.”
However, recently, Mr Webb became increasingly frustrated because of financial issues. “He told me that he is still waiting for his government to send him money, I don’t know what for.”
But the money did not come, and within a few weeks, Mr Webb was no longer able to pay his bills. “He rented these two rooms,” Mr Sopa explained to police on the scene. “The rent for each is 3,200 baht per month. He stopped paying until his bills reached 14,000 baht.
Mr Sopa approached him several times to ask him to pay his bills, but Mr Webb consoled him and kept saying that his government, the United States, would send him money very soon. Mr Sopa believed him and gave and agreed to wait for the money. In the evening of Thursday, October 18, Mr Sopa saw Mr Webb alive for the last time. “I asked again, and again, he begged me to have a bit more patience.”
On Thursday, October 22, Mr Sopa went to Mr Webb’s apartment to collect the outstanding payments. “I knocked and called his name, but nobody replied,” the landlord said. “I thought he might have gone to visit a friend, so I decided to try it again later that day.”
When Mr Sopa returned to the apartment, he noticed that the door was unlocked. As he opened it slowly, he was overwhelmed by the horrible smell emanating from within. With a cloth over his mouth and nose, he went in and found Mr Webb’s grotesquely bloated body lying in a pool of excrements and body fluids. He then called the police.
Even though no evidence in the form of a rope or pills were found, police still entertain the thought that Mr Webb had committed suicide. “He was in a lot of trouble, and he had no one to go to,” Pol Lt Col Mondri said. “I would not be surprised if the autopsy determined this death as a suicide.”
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