Spanish TV and movie star acts to provide his celebrity chef son with legal counsel and support as Marine Police and divers still search for missing body parts of his unfortunate victim near Haad Salad Beach on Ko Phangan after a crime reenactment on Monday visited seven locations.
As the famous father of 29-year-old Spanish chef, Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, charged with the premeditated murder of 44-year-old Colombian plastic surgeon Edwin Arietta Arteaga on Ko Phangan this week, organised a mission to assist his son, the accused man is to be transferred to prison on Ko Samui as he faces legal proceedings for premeditated murder in which it is highly likely the death sentence will be handed down.
It is understood that the famous father of the 29-year-old Spanish murder suspect Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, arrested this weekend for the murder of a Colombian plastic surgeon, 44-year-old Mr Edwin Arietta Arteaga, is preparing to fly into Thailand to assist his son after news broke of his arrest for premeditated murder on Ko Phangan on Saturday.
‘I was almost shocked to hear the news that my son was a murderer,’ Mr Rodolfo Sancho Aguirre is quoted as saying on Spanish media as he prepared for his emergency mission to Thailand and coordinated with the Spanish Embassy in Bangkok to initially provide legal assistance to his son, an up and coming Spanish TV celebrity chef with a significant YouTube following
Arrest warrant issued by Ko Samui Provincial Court on Saturday against Daniel Sancho Bronchalo after body parts were found at a local dump on Thursday
Daniel Sancho Branchalo was the subject of an arrest warrant issued on Saturday by the Ko Samui Provincial Court for premeditated murder after the body parts of Mr Edwin Arrieta Arteaga were discovered at a municipal dump on the island on Thursday, August 3rd.
It is believed that Mr Edwin Arteaga was murdered by the younger Spaniard on the evening of August 2nd or Wednesday last, sometime after his arrival on the holiday island where he was met on a motorbike by Mr Branchalo who is understood to have been his homosexual lover.
Spanish chef murdered gay lover on Ko Phangan cut him into 14 pieces and left him as garbage (Please read earlier report)
Police believe that the motive, in this case, is linked to the relationship between the pair and suspect that jealousy may have triggered the attack on the 44-year-old professional.
On Tuesday, Branchalo to be moved from cells on Ko Phangan to prison in Ko Samui as legal proceedings commence which could lead to a death sentence
On Tuesday, Mr Bronchalo will be removed to the detention centre or prison attached to the Ko Samui Provincial Court and is due to appear before the court at some point as his detention period is due to expire within the next 48 hours.
On Monday, police brought the suspected killer to a series of locations associated with the crime that was carried out by the 29-year-old Spaniard on August 2nd, sometime after the arrival of Mr Arteaga aboard a ferry to the island.
Mr Branchalo brought the older man to alternative accommodation he had reserved at Haad Salad Beach in a luxurious resort some distance from the accommodation originally booked by the victim near Thong Nai Pan Beach.
Mr Branchalo originally booked into this accommodation on Monday, July 31st after he arrived on the island two days before Mr Arteaga. He stayed there only one night.
Damning evidence from Mr Branchalo’s shopping expedition on Tuesday, the day before the murder he bought knives, plastic bags and cleaning liquid
On Saturday, in a briefing given by Police Lieutenant General Surapong Thanomjit, the Commander-in-chief of Police Region 8, it was revealed that police had assembled damning CCTV evidence showing that Daniel Branchalo had spent Tuesday the 1st of August shopping for knives, cleaning materials and plastic bags which were put to use in the aftermath of the murder the next day.
The Spaniard admitted to police he had cut the Colombian into 14 different body parts and dumped them at a series of locations while also using a kayak to sail out to sea where the victim’s torso, head and some other body parts were dumped.
In the last 24 hours, these remains were swept ashore near Haad Salad Beach on Ko Phangan and were retrieved by police.
It is reported that the plastic bags containing the body parts just washed ashore near Haad Salad beach may have been at sea for longer than normal because of reported strong winds in the area at the time.
Divers and Marine police search for missing body parts of the 44-year-old Colombian plastic surgeon
On Sunday and Monday, Royal Thai Police divers in association with the Marine Police searched the waters off Haad Salad Bay to find more missing body parts.
Police estimate that at least six of these body parts are still missing.
Over the weekend, the family of the accused Spaniard appointed a legal firm to represent him.
He is facing charges of premeditated murder and the concealment of human remains, the former an offence in Thailand which carries the death penalty which is regularly handed down.
The last execution in Thailand was in June 2018 when 26-year-old Theerasak Longji was put to death by lethal injection at Bang Kwang Central Prison for murder while stealing a mobile phone.
Callous nature of Mr Branchalo’s actions in this murder leaves him facing an almost certainty that a death sentence will be handed down by the courts
It is thought that the callous circumstances in which this crime appears to have been committed may make the courts less inclined to commute the sentence despite the cooperation the accused has shown in the case since Saturday when he broke down and confessed to the murder.
Thai courts have repeatedly affirmed that in such cases where premeditation has been shown by the killer, there can be no mitigating factors against the ultimate punishment being handed down.
Mr Branchalo was arrested by police for questioning on Friday the 4th of August and intense interrogation led to a breakdown and a request by Ko Phangan police for an arrest warrant from Ko Samui Provincial Court on Saturday the 5th of August.
Scion of a famous Spanish acting family
The father of the accused Mr Rodolfo Sancho Aguirre is thought to be distraught at the news of his son’s fate and is extremely concerned.
The news of Mr Branchalo’s misadventure in Thailand is being reported avidly by the Spanish media given the high-profile nature of the family.
Mr Branchalo, as well as having a famous father and well-known mother, is the grandson of famous Spanish actor Felix Angel Sancho Gracia or Sancho Gracia, another Spanish film and TV star who passed away in August 2012.
On Monday, as police carried out their ‘live confession’ or reenactment in the company of Mr Branchalo, a peculiar facet of the Thai criminal justice system stemming from the modern inception of the Royal Thai Police in the 19th century led by British man Captain Joseph Byrd Ames although the police force can trace its history back over 500 years.
Spanish chef wearing handcuffs is accompanied by an entourage including armed police as he revisited locations associated with last Wednesday’s murder
Police, on Monday, then retraced the evidence in the case and the sequence of events leading to the murder and the efforts undertaken by the killer to dispose of the body.
Mr Branchalo was escorted by armed police while wearing colourful shorts and handcuffs which he covered with his grey T-shirt as the procession visited seven key locations linked to this crime starting with the ferry terminal at Thong Sala Pier where Mr Branchalo welcomed Mr Edwin Arteaga on Wednesday last, just hours before the murder.
The entourage accompanying the accused included armed police and a legal representative.
The second point to which police brought the accused was a coffee shop approximately one kilometre from the ferry.
They then brought him to a well-known shopping mall and department store where CCTV footage showed Mr Branchalo purchasing the knives, plastic bags and cleaning fluids used in the dismemberment of the body on Tuesday, August 1st last.
Daniel Bronchalo arrived in Ko Phangan on Monday 31st July, two days before his homosexual lover and victim.
Many locations were beaches where the Spaniard had discarded Mr Edwin Arteaga’s belongings and his remains after killing the Colombian
The fourth location on Monday was Haad Rin Beach where Mr Branchalo disposed of the personal belongings of the Colombian plastic surgeon including watches, a computer tablet and the dead man’s wallet after the murder on Wednesday.
The entourage and the accused then visited Hin Kong Beach where Mr Branchalo is reported to have left some of the body parts of his victim in a trash bag by a refuse collection spot at the roadside.
The sixth location was the hotel resort near Haad Salad Beach where the murder took place on August 2nd. Mr Branchalo murdered his victim in his hotel room.
Branchalo suggested the attack on the victim was provoked as he broke down under interrogation
On Friday, as he began to confess, the accused told police that he had punched Mr Arteaga as the older man made an unwanted sexual advance, causing his head to hit a bathtub, leaving him dead.
However, the accused’s shopping activity the day before argues against this and suggests that the killing was premeditated.
Police then moved on to a point at Haad Salad Beach where Mr Branchalo rented a kayak, which he used to paddle out to sea, bringing Mr Arteaga’s torso, head and limbs in a duffel bag before dumping them into the water.
After visiting the seven key locations linked with the crime on Monday, the accused and his police entourage returned to Ko Phangan Police Station, where he has been held in custody since Friday.
Reporters noted that Mr Branchalo had a severe and stern expression on his face throughout the proceedings and particularly on his return to the police station cells.