Belgian murder suspect Mr Steve is caught in Bueng Kan while disposing of his victim’s vehicle. Police found he was burning the 49-year-old Belgian victim’s body in a 2-metre-deep death pit. Only bone fragments remained. The motive: to stop a campaign of extortion and intimidation by the victim if police believe the killer’s testimony.

Police in Bueng Kan province on Sunday questioned a 42-year-old Belgian murder suspect identified as Mr Steve, who was arrested the day before by a police patrol as he sought to dispose of his victim’s vehicle. The chance encounter between the police drug squad and the murderer covering his tracks saw the crime exposed. At length, the accused led police to a 2-metre deep pit where he had burned the body of his victim, another Belgian who was 49 years old.

Police forensics teams and medical volunteers at the site of the death pit on Saturday, May 25th. (Inset) Seka Police in Bueng Kan prepare to question 42-year-old Mr Steve, who is charged with premeditated murder and possession of an illegal weapon following his arrest last Saturday as he was attempting to dispose of the victim’s vehicle.

Thai police, on Sunday, questioned a 42-year-old Belgian family man who was arrested the day before in the upper northeastern province of Bueng Kan.

At length, the 42-year-old man, who lives in the Seka district with his Thai wife, has been charged with premeditated murder and possession of an illegal gun and ammunition.

Root of the murder says killer was ongoing friction over attempts to extort money by the victim. Eventually, under stress, he murdered his older compatriot

In short, the victim in the case is another Belgian national, 49-year-old Mr Christophe, who was murdered by his compatriot on Friday, May 24th. The accused man has been identified by local police only as Mr Steve.

The Belgian accused is a resident of the Sang subdistrict also in the Seka district of the province. On Sunday, he was questioned by investigating officers at Seka Police Station.

The root cause of the killing was constant friction between the two men over money.

On Sunday, the accused told officers that the older man was trying to extort money from him. In particular, on this occasion, he said Mr Christophe sought ฿850,000.

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In addition, the older man was engaged in a constant campaign of intimidation in order to get the younger Belgian to pay up.

Dead man threatened to harm the younger man’s family and indeed burn down his home if his financial demands were not met. Last demand was for ฿850,000

The Belgian accused claimed he had been threatened with violence as well as harm to his family and his home where he lives with his Thai wife and family.

Certainly, his testimony to police was that the 49-year-old had threatened to burn down his home and injure his loved ones.

Therefore, on Friday, May 24th, at a rendezvous with the victim, he shot him three times. The weapon was a .22 calibre pistol. Mr Christophe fell dead on the spot.

The location of the murder was at Mr Christophe’s residence. This was located in the Seka Tai subdistrict near the Kassa Reservoir.

Mr Steve dragged the body of the other Belgian man to a pit situated some 560 metres from the home. There, he used two tires to burn the body.

Killer’s plan to dispose of the victim’s motorcycle carrying vehicle led to his later arrest the next day by Region 4 police lying in wait for drug gangs

However, he then embarked on a course which led directly to his arrest.

The killer took a vehicle that Mr Christophe had used for transporting motorbikes, presumably to dispose of it. In short, he wanted it to appear that he had left home.

In brief, his plan was to take it across the border into an adjacent province.

Certainly, this plan failed spectacularly when police officers with Police Region 4 spotted the vehicle behaving suspiciously.

At length, the officers were part of a drug surveillance squad. After that, they decided to question the Belgian man driving the unusual vehicle.

At that point, Mr Steve attempted to flee the police who pursued him and eventually intercepted him. Meanwhile, he was placed under arrest.

After the Belgian was intercepted by the police squad, he broke down, confessed to murder and led them to where he was burning the body and the weapon

Afterwards, he broke down and admitted to investigators what he had done. In brief, he took police officers back to the home of Mr Christophe and the pit of death.

This was on Saturday, the day after the murder. Mr Steve led officers to the fire pit, which was still smouldering.

In any event, police sought help from the regional forensic team and nearby medical doctors.

After the fire was extinguished, they retrieved and collected human bone fragments from the pit.

Certainly, in this process, machinery was used to scoop the remnants of the fire from the pit, which was over 2 metres deep.

Police appeal for witnesses and those who know more

This operation continued on Sunday even while Seka Police made a public appeal for witnesses.

Officers working on the case are anxious to hear from anyone with knowledge of the relationship and business affairs of both men.

In his defence when speaking to police on Sunday, Mr Steve said the murder victim had caused him to feel stressed out. Undoubtedly, he took the threats seriously.

In short, he feared what the other Belgian man would do what he threatened. Particularly, when he refused his request for a large sum of money.

On Saturday, the murder suspect showed police where he had concealed the murder weapon.

The .22 calibre pistol was taken by officers as evidence in the investigation. They also seized a case, ammunition, and in addition, three spent shell casings.

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