Immigration Police Chief Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang yesterday (Oct 22) announced that German national Richard Stanislaus, 52, had been taken into custody over the death of 77-year-old Margund Schaefer.
The two co-owned a bar in Pattaya, and Ms Schaefer shared a house with Stanislaus and his Thai girlfriend, Gen Sompong explained. (See Immigration Bureau report here.)
Police began investigating the whereabouts Ms Schaefer at the request of German police after her friends and family reported her as missing. Ms Schaefer was known to be travelling with Stanislaus, he said.
Police brought Stanislaus in for questioning and discovered that he had been overstaying in the country since June 22, 2017, bringing him into suspicion, Gen Sompong noted.
Stanislaus’ Thai female companion, who Gen Sompong named only as “Supranee”, explained to officers that Stanislaus had brought Ms Schaefer to Thailand and several thousand baht per month was transferred from her retirement funds in Germany to pay expenses.
In early January this year, Ms Schaefer suffered a fall in the bathroom. She and Stanislaus provided care for Ms Schaefer, but she later died, Supranee said.
Stanislaus then wrapped Ms Schaefer’s body in blanket and stuffed it into a wooden crate. He then loaded the box onto a motorbike with sidecar that he borrowed and dumped it into the Bang Phong Canal behind the Saen Suk Municipality offices, Gen Sompong said.
The body was later found on Jan 12. DNA tests and dental records had confirmed that the body was of Ms Schaefer, he added.
Stanislaus, who was taken into custody last Friday (Oct 18) and charged last Saturday (Oct 19), already faces a charge of concealing or disposing a body while officers continue their investigation, Gen Sompong said.
Police said forensic tests could tell them if Schaefer died by accident or murder noted a report by AP. (See story here.)
“We found out that Mr Richard and Mrs Margund opened a beer bar together in Pattaya but the business was unsuccessful,” said Gen Sompong at a news conference where Stanislaus was present but didn’t speak.
“That led them into an argument. A Thai witness said they had an argument before the victim went and took a shower. But whether or not the argument led to a murder, we can’t say at this point.” he added.
Stanislaus was wanted on an arrest warrant issued in Germany for multiple charges of fraud for deceiving elderly women. The charges related to transactions totaling 6,000 euros (B240,000 baht), involving 17 credit cards, Gen Sompong noted.