Officers were called to the room, in Soi Bangtao 4, Cherng Talay, at 3pm after the body of Niramon Aewkaew, 43, from Phatthalung province, was found by her sister.
Ms Niramon’s sister had come to the room after she had failed to contact Ms Niramon for a week. Ms Niramon had not answered her phone or replied to messages sent, she said.
Officers arrived to find Ms Niramon’s hands and feet still bound and a black cloth stuffed into her mouth, police noted in their report.
Officers also noted that the scene looked liked there had been a fight in the room.
Ms Niramon had suffered a heavy blow to the forehead and had many bruises to her body.
Police are waiting for a post-mortem examination to determine whether Ms Niramon was sexually assaulted, Cherng Talay Police Chief Col Serm Kwannimit also said yesterday.
Officers estimated that Ms Niramon had been killed at least five days before her body had been found.
“At this time we still do not have a clear idea of who the killer is, and so have not requested an arrest warrant,” Col Serm.
The attacker could have been a person Ms Niramon knew, or a stranger, he pointed out.
“We are waiting for the investigation to progress and for the results from doctors first. We are also waiting to question relatives and friends on Monday (today, Feb 18),” he added.
However, police are keen to track down and question Ms Niramon’s former partner, 42-year-old Greek national Dimitrios Chairopoulos.
Police have yet to confirm Ms Niramon’s and Mr Chairopoulos’s marital status, Col Serm told The Phuket News today.
Mr Chairopoulos departed Phuket on Feb 11, about the time of Ms Niramon’s murder.
His permit to stay entitled him to stay in the country until Feb 27, Col Serm noted.
Staff at the guesthouse where Ms Niramon was staying confirmed to The Phuket News that Ms Niramon and Mr Chairopoulos were staying in the same room.
“Right now, we cannot confirm whether the key suspect is Ms Niramon’s new partner, her previous partner or another suspect. But this crime is very cruel. The Greek man is a suspect,” Col Serm said.
Ms Niramon’s sister told police that Ms Niramon and Mr Chairopoulos had argued intensely before, and that Mr Chairopoulos was prone to angry fits of jealously.
Ms Niramon had a Thai ex-husband. The couple had divorced three years ago, but on good terms, the sister told police.
The ex-husband had just come to visit Phuket and had stopped by to see Ms Niramon, she said.
“This may have caused Mr Chairopoulos to be very angry,” Col Serm concluded.
Ms Niramon was well known throughout the Bang Tao community as working at the Tookta Massage for Health & Beauty Salon, where she worked as a freelance beautician.