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Slain frogman identified

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Slain frogman identified | Thaiger

KARON: After days of intense speculation, Chalong Police investigating the bizarre death of a frogman who attacked a Swiss yacht owner and a Thai woman on the night of January 9 have finally identified the attacker as German national Peter Michael Schmid, aged 35.

The investigation by Chalong Police included showing pictures of the deceased frogman to hotel employees in Kata-Karon and Rawai.

Chalong Police Superintendent Col Samarn Chainarong told the Gazette that police still believe the attack was a botched robbery because Schmid had a gun, knife and black electrical tape with him when he boarded the vessel, a 10-meter sailboat named Maria.

Schmid was also thought to have been suffering from stomach cancer at the time of his death, Col Samarn added.

Most of the details of the attack, as provided to the media at a press conference on January 10, are based on the eye-witness account of 25-year-old Trat native Porntip Pradit. (Click here for original report.)

After the attack, Schmid’s body was recovered by police and rescue workers about 70 meters from Maria. He had sustained two large wounds: one to under his left eye and the other to his left wrist, inflicted by a gaff, or boat hook, kept aboard Maria.

Doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital confirmed that the cause of death was blood loss from the wound to his wrist, Col Samarn said.

The victim Mr Orberson, 50, was rushed to Phuket International Hospital, where he was initially kept in the Intensive Care Unit for a gunshot wound to his shoulder.

He was released on Saturday, before he could be questioned by police.

Chalong Police say they know where Mr Oberson is and that they plan to question him soon. They will have to file murder charges against him as a matter of procedure, though they expect the charges to be dropped eventually because all of the available evidence indicates that he was acting in self-defense.

Mr Oberson had come to Thailand with his wife and two young children, a boy and a girl, all three of whom were staying at a resort on Koh Racha Yai when the incident took place, Col Samarn said.

Col Samarn confirmed reports that Schmid had previously taken a dive course with local dive operator Dive Asia.

A spokesperson for Dive Asia confirmed that a man named Peter Michael Schmid completed a dive course with the operator within the past three years, but declined to give additional information.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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