Papke, a fitness instructor living in Rawai, confessed to the murder on Tuesday (July 18).
The confession came at Chalong Police Station, after Papke had been escorted under armed guard from Vachira Phuket Hospital, where the German had been recovering after he tried to slash his own throat with a box cutter when police moved in to arrest him on July 9. (See stories here and here.)
His arrest came after police found Ms Pischa’s body wrapped in blankets and dumped in the Phuket jungle on July 9. (See story here.)
“During the course of questioning on July 18, Papke told us that on July 2 he had a serious argument with Ms Pischa because he found messages and photos on her phone that led him to believe she was having a relationship with another man,” Lt Chanat Hongsittichaikul of the Chalong Police, who is leading the investigation into the July 2 murder, told The Phuket News.
“All this took place [at Ms Pischa’s rented abode in Chalong] when they had just arrived home from a holiday in Phang Nga,” Lt Chanat said.
“Ms Pischa denied the relationship and this made Papke angry.
“But then Ms Pischa told Papke that she did in fact love someone else. Papke climbed on top of Ms Pischa and with all his weight on top of her, he strangled her until she lay silent on the bed,” Lt Chanat explained.
“Papke admitted to us that he was angry and confused and that he then went out to buy some cigarettes and came back one hour later.
“Ms Pischa had not moved, he tried to wake her up and found her body was cold. It was then that he realised she was dead.”
Lt Chanat then went on to say that Papke then moved Ms Pischa’s body and covered her with a sheet to make it look like she was asleep.
“Soon after some friends of Ms Pischa came looking for her. Papke told to them that she had taken some medicine because she was unwell and that the medicine had made her fall asleep,” he said.
“Papke stayed in the room with Ms Pischa’s body for two nights and by this time the body was starting to decompose. And then fluid came from her mouth onto the bed.
“This is the reason Papke decided to cover her head with a plastic bag. He then covered her body with plastic, blankets and rope,” Lt Chanat continued.
Lt Chanat confirmed with The Phuket News today (July 20) that the stains found on mattress inside Ms Pischa’s room on July 12 (see story here) were in fact the fluids Papke referred to, and that this was purge fluid; a reddish-brown fluid with a very foul smell that can emerge from the oral and nasal passages and which can easily be mistaken as blood. It emerges as a result of the gases forming throughout the body.
“On July 3, when it was dark, Papke placed Ms Pischa’s body in the boot of a rented Toyota Vios. Then at 10am on July 4 he drove to the forest where he dumped the body, and this is where the body was discovered. (See story here.)
“Then on July 5 Papke returned the rental car to its owner,” Lt Chanat added.
When The Phuket News asked if there were any further details on the wound found on Ms Pischa’s body, Lt Chanat explained, “That wound might simply be due to the flesh rotting, or it could be a stab wound. It is hard to tell because of her body is so decomposed.
“This is a further reason we sent the body to the forensic laboratory at Surat Thani Hospital. We really need this forensic report so that we can know the exact truth in this case,” Lt Chant said.
Asked if he knew why Papke dumped the body where he did, the explanation given was, “Papke told that he used to pass that way often and that he knew not many people drive or are around that area.”
Asked how police could confirm the area where the body was dumped, Lt Chanat said, “Officers found the information via GPS installed in the car.”