57-year-old Michael David Belcher’s death comes as the second such discovery in Chiang Mai just this week. Another foreigner was found at a resort on Thursday last, September 26th. On September 16th last, a 68 year old Australian took his life in a hotel bathroom in Buriram leaving ฿3,000 and suicide note. There is a pronounced trend of foreigners and expats checking into hotels and never checking out at least not in this world.
A 57 year UK businessman was found dead by staff at a resort on Wednesday in what appears to have been a staged suicide. He was the second foreigner to be found the city in a resort hotel room this week who had taken his own life.
A 57-year-old UK businessman was found on Wednesday morning at a resort in the Mae Hia area of central Chiang Mai by staff. He appeared to have committed suicide and this is the theory that police are working on.
The man’s body was found lying on a bed with a canister of liquid nitrogen behind the bed locker beside him and an empty bottle of wine.
A staff member said the 57-year-old UK man arrived with a woman on Monday in a white car
A staff member at the resort, 26-year-old Ploenyok Wanichkit reported that the man had arrived at the resort on Monday morning in a white car and checked in with a woman. She told the press that the woman had left early on Tuesday morning.
Liquid nitrogen canister found beside the bed
Police found no sign of a struggle in the resort hotel room located off the Chiang Mai ring road. The man had no visible or external injuries nor did there appear to be anything of value taken from the room. They also established that the cause of death was the intake of nitrogen gas in what appears to be suicide.
Named as UK businessman Michael David Belcher
The man has been named as a British expat and businessman Michael David Belcher. The medical examiner at the scene estimated that he had passed away only 6 to 7 hours before the body was found by staff at the hotel.
The body was taken to the Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital for a routine autopsy.
2nd body found at a Chiang Mai resort this week
Mr Belcher is the second foreigner expat in his fifties to be found in Chiang Mai this week at a resort who is thought to have committed suicide.
On Thursday, September 26th, an unidentified expat was found by staff at the Sukkasem Homestay condo in the Suthep area of central Chiang Mai. Police were called to the scene at 10 am.
Man found dead on the floor beside his bed
The man was found dead on the floor of the condo beside his bed. Police found no signs of a struggle or foul play at the scene and have concluded that it was a suicide. Medical examiners found the body to be in a state of decomposition and estimated that the man had been dead for days before being found by staff.
The body was sent to the same hospital in Chiang Mai for an autopsy.
More foreigners being found dead in hotels and resorts in what is becoming a more defined pattern
There is a self-evident spike in the number of suicides associated with foreigners in Thailand being reported in the media in recent months.
On Monday, September 16th last, 68-year-old Australian man Edward Padinga decided to take his own life at a hotel in Buriram leaving a note explaining his decision and ฿3,000 to cover expenses. Staff at the hotel found him in the bathroom of his suite three hours later. He had hanged himself.
Last call was to his 29-year-old Thai wife
Police used his phone to make contact with the last person he had spoken with. It was his 29-year-old Thai wife. She explained that her husband seemed to have become depressed over an incident in Pattaya when his passport and belongings were stolen in the resort city. He had told her that he received little assistance from the police.
It is understood that his suicide note explained the reasons for his decision to end his life which were numerous.
Police found no obvious signs of foul play or struggle which in addition to the handwritten letter left attached to the wall in the bathroom where he was found, led them to conclude that the case was one of suicide and sent his body for a routine autopsy.
Frequent press reports all with the same pattern
These stories are becoming all too frequent with reports from hotels across Thailand of middle-aged and older foreign men checking in but never checking out. The only thing that changes is the nationality.
In January, a western man suddenly lay down in front of a Bangkok bus and was killed
In January this year, the Thai Examiner reported on the growing number of suicides among foreigners in a week when two western men killed themselves in the centre of Bangkok, days apart in bizarre but similar circumstances. One man laid down suddenly in front of an oncoming Bangkok bus while another, an Italian man and poet, threw himself from the top floor escalators of a very popular city-centre shopping centre.
Mental health issues among foreigners living in Thailand is not something the Thai government has the resources or the remit to address.
Who is responsible for the mental health of foreigners in Thailand as the numbers grow?
There is concern about the welfare of increasing numbers of western foreigners in Thailand with mental issues but there is no responsible authority. The Thai government, even though it has progressive mental health laws such as the Mental Health Act of 2008 lacks the resources and infrastructure to care for Thai nationals with mental health problems with increasing reports of Thai people with serious mental health issues walking the streets.
The other factor, of course, is that some of the foreigners who commit suicide do not have mental health issues but have made a calculated decision in favour of euthanasia.