After discovering a head at the end of a rope hanging from the Rama IX Bridge on Sunday, police at 2pm yesterday found the body floating in the Chao Phya river nearby. The body was clothed in a long-sleeve white shirt, black and white pants and white canvas sneakers.
Caucasian in his 50s
Forensic examiners said that the man, a foreigner, had probably committed suicide. It is not uncommon for the fall to tear the head from the body in such cases.
Metropolitan Police Area 7 deputy chief Colonel Chavalit Prasobsilp said that initial forensic tests had identified the dead man as a Caucasian in his 50s.
Based on bruising at the point where the head was severed, the forensic team gave an 85 per cent probability that a sharp object had not been involved, he added.
Chavalit said that police initially gave more weight to murder as the cause of death, but were waiting for the autopsy results before declaring a criminal case.
"In an effort to discover |the dead man's identity we have contacted the Immigra-tion Bureau and dispatched police officers to residential areas housing lots of foreigners.
"We have also sent the dead man's details to a number of foreign missions including the US and Italian embassies.
Police are checking footage from security cameras near the bridge as the cameras on the bridge were not working. Pictures of the dead man have also been posted at guesthouses in the Khao San Road and Nana areas.
An official at the Russian Embassy in Bangkok yesterday contacted Bovornmongkol Police Station suggesting that the dead man might be Russian, based on his distinctive facial features.
In related news, Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban said he had received the report on the case and instructed police to hunt down the culprits if they suspected murder. He said the investigation would cover mafia-like gangs within and beyond Thailand's borders.