Investigators have determined that Karun Wansawang, an employee of the Royal Thai Forestry Department originally believed to have been abducted, died from a head injury sustained in an accidental 20-metre fall while catching fish and frogs in a Mae Hong Son woodland.
Khun Yuam Police Superintendent Pol Col Sombat Supa said Karun, whose body was found on Monday in a creek bed, had died on Saturday, the same day he phoned his wife saying he was being abducted by 10 armed men he’d encountered in Doi Wiang La Forest.
Sombat said Karun was apparently lying to his wife in an attention-seeking bid after they’d had an argument.
His wallet contained Bt2,920 in cash and his phone records showed he has spoken that same day to a local police officer, who told investigators Karun sounded normal and had said nothing about armed men or an abduction.
Department deputy chief Jaresak Nantawong led a search involving five teams of police, forestry and district officials and paramilitary rangers over the weekend and into Monday.
Karun’s body was found in a dry creek bed, two kilometres from the Doi Wiang La Wildlife Conservation Area Office in Khun Yuam district.
Karun, 55, worked for the department’s Forest Products Research Unit in the district.
His funeral was held at Wat Kham Nai.