Man Arrested for Phuket Sandbox Tourist Killing

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Thai police at the crime scene in Phuket (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)
Thai police at the crime scene in Phuket (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

A 27-year-old resident of Phuket has confessed to the killing of a tourist whose body was found by a waterfall in Phuket on 6 August.

Mr. Teerawat Thothip confessed to choking 57-year-old Nicole Sauvain-Weiskopf, a Swiss national, however, he has denied allegations of rape or intention to kill, according to Phuket News.

The man was arrested by Thai police yesterday following an investigation after Ms. Sauvain-Weiskopf’s body was found near a waterfall in Phuket’s Wichit Subdistrict.

She had been on holiday in Thailand as part of the Phuket Sandbox tourism scheme.

Bangkok Post reports that a police statement released on the resort island on Sunday said police had registered charges for murder and robbery against Teerawat Thothip, and indicated more charges could be filed later.

Scratches were found on Mr. Teerawat’s body, and he confessed to being unemployed and had hoped to rob the victim.

He had been searching for wild orchids in the forest near the waterfall, and, spotting the tourist bathing, he attempted to search her backpack for cash.

When she resisted, a struggle ensued and he strangled her to death.

National police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk has given an apology and condolences to the victim’s family over the tragedy.