The Koh Samui Provincial Court has approved a police warrant for the arrest of a Spanish chef, suspected to have killed and dismembered the body of his Colombian surgeon lover in a hotel room on Koh Phangan island.
Pol Lt Gen Surapong Thanomjit, the Provincial Police Region 8 commissioner, said the court approval came after a DNA test of human parts found by trash collectors at a rubbish dump on the island on Thursday proved to be of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, 44, a Colombian national.
The two men were believed to have been involved in a relationship for about one year.
The Spanish suspect, Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, has been detained at the Koh Phangan police station. He has been charged with premeditated murder, concealing and removing body parts to cover up the death or the cause of death.
Pol Lt Gen Surapong said after admitting to killing and dismembering the Colombian, the suspect appeared relaxed.
Provincial and tourist police had conducted questioning of the Spaniard and gathered evidence in the case. Only the body parts which the suspect said had been dumped into the sea in a duffel bag had yet to be found. A search was continuing, he added.
In a statement given to police, the suspect claimed Arrieta came to his hotel room on Tuesday and asked for sex. The Spaniard became angry and hit him, causing Arrieta to fall and strike his head against the bathtub, cauisng his death.
Pol Lt Gen Surapong said investigators were not convinced by his statement because the acquired evidence indicated the murder was pre-meditated.
Police had learned that Mr Sancho asked Arrieta to come to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon party and that it was Arrieta who had paid Mr Sancho’s expenses and allowed him to use his credit card. Moreover, Arrieta had also opened a restaurant for Mr Sancho in Spain, the officer said.
Therefore, the motive for the killing was still in doubt, Pol Lt Gen Surapong said. Aside from their relationship – which the suspect said had turned sour – money and property might also be factors.
Pol Col Panya Nirattimanon, the Koh Phangan police chief, said it was confirmed that the suspect is the son of the Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho Aguirre and actress Silvia Bronchalo. A well-known chef in his home country, he also had a YouTube channel.
His father was reportedly shocked on learning that his son had become a murder suspect. He had contacted the Spanish embassy in Thailand and was travelling to the country to see his son.
Arrieta, the victim, operated a successful cosmetic surgery business in Monteria, Colombia.
Read the full story at Bangkok Post – Spanish chef faces murder charge in Phangan dismemberment case which was brought to us by Google Alerts.