Thai police have said today the dismembered body parts found in the Chao Phraya river earlier this week are that of Spanish national David Bernat, despite earlier reports the man was likely of Asian origin.
The body was identified following DNA testing and fingerprint matching after friends of the Spanish businessman in Bangkok contacted police after his family reported him missing after failing to make contact for over a week.
Pol Gen Panya Mamen, a senior advisor to the Royal Thai Police Office who is leading the investigation, told reporters Mr Bernat was likely murdered between January 25th and 27th. Detectives are working on the theory that he was kidnapped and tortured before he was killed.
Reports in the Thai press said police believed Bernat had been bound and gagged before he murdered after forensic tests revealed fragments of tape had been found on an arm. It was concluded he died of suffocation.
The Spaniard entered Thailand on January 19th and was staying at the Nantiruj Tower apartments on Sukhumvit Soi 8 where he was last seen on Wednesday 20th January leaving by motorbike.
Police are now trying to establish his last known movements in a bid to find witnesses who can shed light his whereabouts between his last sighting and the days leading up to when they believe he was killed.
Pol Gen Panya said he believed Thais and foreigners were involved and they will be arrested within 48 hours. He added that Mr Bernat’s killers transferred money to several countries including Singapore, Spain and within Thailand after his death.