The American citizen of Costa Rican heritage arrived at the end of August and had intended to stay at least until the end of November. However, the manager of the hotel told police that his guest had recently taken to drinking heavily and appeared to be harrowed, keeping to himself in his room.

Police in Phuket are investigating the death of an American tourist who was found with stab wounds and lacerations to his throat in his room on Monday morning at a hotel near Bang Tao Beach in the Thalang district of the island. Housekeeping staff discovered his decomposing body at 9.40 am and called the police. Officers are trying to establish whether the man died at his own hands or whether there was a third party involved. 

Police and Forensic officers examined the hotel room in which the US-born Costa Rican dual citizen had stayed since August 30th near Bang Tao Beach in Phuket. The decomposing body of the American was found on Monday and removed to Vachira Phuket Hospital for an autopsy as police investigate the death.

Police in Phuket at Choeng Thale Police Station are waiting on the results of an autopsy being conducted by Vachira Phuket Hospital after the body of a 35-year-old US and Costa Rican citizen was found on Monday morning at a hotel in the Thalang district of the island.

The American, who is understood to be a resident of Texas, arrived at Ma Maison Hotel in the Choeng Thale sub-district on August 30th last and, according to the manager, had subsequently paid for a two-month stay at the 3-star hotel on Bangtao Beach.

Tourist who arrived on August 30th and planned on staying until at least the end of November paid in advance and died from a slash to his throat

Recently, the tourist renewed his contract for a further month, which would have extended his stay to the end of November.

The body of Mr Daniel James Artus Jerez was found with several neck stab wounds on the left-hand side.

Nonetheless, a Medical Examiner at the scene on Monday concluded that he died from a slash to his throat. 

Police called to the hotel on Monday were led by Police Captain Warawut Saensop, the principal investigator at Choeng Thale Police Station.

Afterwards, the senior officer briefed reporters and confirmed that the body was found at 9.40 am by the hotel manager and housekeeping staff.

They were drawn to it by a malodour coming from the room due to the bodily decomposition of the guest. 

Last seen on Thursday, October 26th, when he emerged to purchase a fruit smoothie. Manager said he was a well-behaved guest but was lately stressed

The manager told police that he had last seen the guest, Mr Daniel, on Thursday evening, October 26th, when he came out of his room and purchased a fruit smoothie.

He told police that the American appeared to be a well-behaved gentleman and of a friendly disposition when he first arrived at the hotel but not as much recently.

He had visibly lost weight and appeared to wish to be left to his own devices.

Initially, when he arrived at the hotel, he appeared happier and often went on diving excursions, the manager told investigators.

At length, he explained to the police that the American, more recently, was often seen drunk and appeared to be very preoccupied and suffering from stress. 

On Monday, investigating officers noted that the body of the American was found face down on his bed with a small knife at his feet near an external door to his hotel apartment. 

The knife had blood smears on it and appeared to have been the weapon used to injure the man fatally.

Investigating police noted that the hotel room showed no signs of a struggle, and the deceased’s valuable possessions appeared to have been left intact

Police also noted that the room showed no signs of a physical disturbance or struggle. It contained an Apple notebook and iPad as well as two smartphones.

There were two passports, one issued by Costa Rican authorities and the other by the United States.

The man’s possessions additionally included ฿6,000 in cash, backpacks with clothes inside, diving equipment and accoutrements for boxing. 

The room also contained the visitor’s wheeled suitcase. 

Illicit drugs and paraphernalia found in the room

Police discovered a range of drugs in the room, including a white substance which has yet to be identified and could be crystal methamphetamine or ketamine, in addition to a quantity of cannabis or marijuana together with drug-taking paraphernalia contained in a shoulder bag used by the guest at the hotel.

The medical examiner at the scene told police that the 35-year-old had been dead for at least two days but not more than three. 

Police told reporters that they are initially working on establishing the cause of the man’s death, indicating that they are looking at whether his wounds were self-inflicted under the influence of drugs and depression or whether there was a third party involved.

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