American found dead in Patong hotel

PATONG: Police are investigating the death of 43-year-old American Chris John Beyer, who was found dead at the Expat Hotel on Thursday with his hands bound and a black garbage bag over his head.

Housekeepers discovered the body about two days after noting a rank odor in room 120, where Mr Beyer had been staying since July 9.

Expat Hotel General Manager Ploenjit James told the Gazette she believed Mr Beyer had taken his own life.

“When he checked in, he put up the “Do Not Disturb” sign and even put his chair and table outside the door of his room [to block people from trying to come in]. He really wanted to be left alone.”

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“On Sunday he ate in the coffee shop. He looked sad and he bought a bottle of vodka. The next day, he went out to buy cigarettes from the hotel. Then he complained to the receptionist about the housekeeping staff coming into his room to clean. So we stopped cleaning it.

Then, on Thursday, when the room hadn’t been cleaned for about three days, the chambemaids noticed a smell coming from inside. They opened the door and found the dead man.”

The corpse was found lying face-up dressed only in a pair of purple shorts. One arm was handcuffed to the bed and the other was tied with power cable to a table. There was a black plastic bag over his head and three lengths of rubber tubing around his neck to prevent air from entering the bag.

According to the hotel, nobody had visited the Mr Beyer during his stay.

“At the reception desk, we always check people entering rooms with our guests,” Mrs James explained. “Nobody stayed with him. If they had, there would be a record of it. Our policy is to hold the passport or ID card of anyone who comes to stay with a guest.

“We believe that he killed himself. He always wanted to stay alone. A letter that was found in the room may explain his reasons for wanting to end his life,” she said.

Kathu Police Inspector Pol Lt Padungpong Duksukaew said Mr Beyer had probably died at least two days before his body was discovered.

“We found a letter near the door [apparently written by the deceased] that described his misfortune at having been cheated by friends and having his business fail. It was probably suicide, though we are not ruling out the possibility of murder,” said Lt Padungpong.

Pol Col Chalit Thinthanee, Superintendent of Kathu Police, agreed that it was likely a suicide, given the absence of any signs of foul play.

“We had officers recreate the way the suicide [appears to have been] carried it out, and it is plausible. This method would have given him no way out if he changed his mind.

“The possibility of murder is still there, however, so we are sending the body to the Institute of Forensic Medecine in Bangkok for an autopsy to confirm the exact cause of death,” he said.

Phuket News
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