The man’s body is being sent from Surat Thani to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bangkok after he was found drifting off the popular resort island last Thursday (Oct 27).
Apichart Boonsriroj, the Surat Thani police commander, requested the forensic examination after police in Koh Pha Ngan district were unable to reach a conclusion on the cause of death or identify the deceased.
The man, believed to be a European, was found in the Gulf of Thailand about 500 metres off the island last Thursday. He was wearing blue shorts and was shirtless. He was also wearing a backpack with five rocks among the items found inside.
Col Kusol Pankerd, a deputy superintendent with the Koh Pha Ngan Police Station, said last Thursday that the man may have been dead for up to five days.
Maj Gen Apichart said there was no conclusive evidence of the cause of his death and did not rule out homicide.
The rocks inside the backpack could have been used to add weight for diving, but they could also have been used by a killer to weigh the body down, he added.
Police on Koh Pha Ngan are asking all resorts to review their guest registers to determine if anyone is unaccounted for.
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