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Sandbox tourist killer confesses to attacking Swiss woman, denies intent to murder, rape

Sandbox tourist killer confesses to attacking Swiss woman, denies intent to murder, rape

PHUKET: Teerawat Thothip, a 27-year-old resident of Pa Khlok in Phuket has confessed to choking Swiss tourist Nicole Sauvain-Weiskopf with a headlock, but has denied intention to kill her and denied any attempt to rape her.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 8 August 2021, 03:55PM

The nationally broadcast press conference was held at Phuket Provincial Police Station, in Phuket Town, earlier today (Aug 8). Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The nationally broadcast press conference was held at Phuket Provincial Police Station, in Phuket Town, earlier today (Aug 8). Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

He just wanted her money and belongings, he told a press conference broadcast nationally today (Aug 8).

Teerawat was arrested by police yesterday for the murder of Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf, whose body was found near the Ao Yon Waterfall on Phuket’s east coast on Thursday (Aug 6).

Col Krissana Pattanacharoen, Deputy Spokesman of Royal Thai Police, today explained, “Police have managed to arrest a 27 year old man in connection with the death of a 57 year old Swiss female national who was earlier found dead at a waterfall in Wichit subdistrict, Phuket.

“During the course of investigation and interrogation, evidences were systematically collected and witness statements were taken. Phuket Provincial Court later issued an arrest warrant in connection with the evidence presented to the court.

“Police have charged the offender for murder and robbery causing death. The cause of death is yet to be confirmed as the autopsy report is yet to be released by the authority.

“An inquiry officer has applied to the Phuket Provincial Court to extend a detention period for further legal proceedings, Col Kirssana noted.


Speaking at the press conference this morning, Region 8 Police Deputy Commander Lt Col Nanthadet Yoinuan explained that police were first notified that Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf’s body had been found at 2pm that day.

Officers immediately responded to the call and arrived at the scene, he said.

Officers found Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf’s body face down in the stream. She was naked from the waist down and had been covered by a small tarpaulin weighed down by rocks. Her trainers and her shorts were found in the long grass nearby.

“On the first day, we went to examine the scene and make our plans for the investigation. On that day, I had no idea who the suspect could be,” he said.

“On the following day, the Police General-Commissioner [Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk] brought a team of officers from the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), led by Maj Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, to work together with local police.

“From the initial investigation on that day, we knew that the tourist stayed at a hotel in the Ao Yon area. On Aug 3, about 11:49am, she walked past a CCTV camera to the waterfall. The distance from her hotel to the waterfall is about 1.6 kilometres. The waterfall is not popular among tourists and is mostly  known only to local residents,” he added.

“We checked the footage from the CCTV camera nearest to the waterfall and found 34 vehicles passed the camera. We considered only eight vehicles as suspicious, and later only one last vehicle seemed suspicious. The rider arrived about 12 minutes before the deceased arrived and the suspect drove the motorcycle back from the scene about three hours later. The rider was Teerawat Thothip, who was a local resident of the Cape Panwa community,” he said. [Of note, Teerawat’s registered address is in Pa Khlok, Phuket]

“We investigated until we found him at his house. We took him to Wichit Police Station for questioning. At first, he did not give good cooperation and gave confusing statements. Then we asked him to take off his shirt and we saw a big scratch along the right side of his body. The scratch had only just scabbed,” Lt Col Nanthadet continued.

“With much evidence and a long time in questioning, he eventually cried and confessed that he had killed the tourist,” Lt Col Nanthadet said.


Teerawat himself joined the press conference by phone.

“I, Teerawat Thothip, am sitting with my girlfriend, uncle and lawyer. I would like to explain about the incident on Aug 3. About 10-11am, I rode my motorbike to Ao Yon Waterfall to find orchids and other things in the forest. 

“I walked up to the highest level of the waterfall, but found nothing I wanted. Then I walked down and saw the foreigner, who was naked from the waist down, sitting beside the waterfall. There was a black backpack near her which I expected must have had valuable items inside,” Teerawat said.

“I walked close to her and put her in a headlock from behind. The foreigner tried to get out from under my arm and fought back, which brought us into the water. I put her in a headlock again until she became unconscious. I took her body to the waterside, covered her body with an insulator [a rubber sheet] held down by some rocks.

“Then I opened her backpack and found B300 in cash. I put the money into my wallet and threw her trainers away from the area. I walked down and rode my motorbike to a shack of Bang Lit [a friend],” Teerawat continued.

“On the way to the shack, I spent the stolen money on a bottle of soft drink and ice. Then I met my friends at the shack and used the money to buy marijuana and cigarettes.

“After that, I returned home and lived normally until Aug 5, when my girlfriend told me that the body of a foreigner was found at the waterfall. I was shocked and felt guilty for everything I had done. Then I confessed to the police.

“I would like to say sorry to every person in Thailand and the family of the tourist for what I had done. I’m sorry. Really sorry,” Teerawat said.

Asked whether he told anyone after knowing the news about Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf’s body being found, Teerawat replied, “I was shocked and did not tell anything to other people. I waited until the police checked the CCTV camera and tracked me to my house. I was sleeping when the team of police came to my house.”

Asked whether he was drunk or under the effects of any drugs while committing the killing and whether he really wanted to only steal her belongings, he said, “I was not drunk at that time, but I took drugs one week before. I really just wanted her belongings.” 

Asked why he hd attacked Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf, Teerawat replied, “I have been unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am normally hired for cutting grass. I had a very low income, like B1,000 per week. I gave the whole money to my girlfriend and family, so that they can spend it for living and rising my child.”

Asked whether he thought that his actions would have led to her dying, he said, “I did not mean to kill her.”

Asked whether he wanted to say anything to the Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf’s amily, he replied, “I would like to say sorry to the family for what I did. I am begging for forgiveness from every person in Thailand. I feel very guilty for what I have done.”

Asked about the long scratch on his torso, Teerawat explained, “I already had the scratch from before the killing, but I got more scratches from the fighting.”

At the press conference it was explained that Teerawat was arrested for drugs possession on  Oct 5 last year. He was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment and fined B15,000 baht, but was placed on two years probation.


Speaking in English at the press conference, which was also attended by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn, national police chief Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk said, “On behalf of the Royal Thai Police, I would like to offer our deep condolences to the family of the victim who lost her life in this tragedy.

“All of us felt the same as the family of the victim in this difficult time. I know that nothing could ever compensate [for] this loss, although police managed to arrest the murderer soon after we opened an investigation,” he said. 

“We can assure that the offender will be charged and tried fairly in the court of law in due course. It is our job to ensure that justice is rendered so that we will gain the public’s confidence.

“As a Thai, we, ourselves, will take this opportunity to welcome tourists to visit Thailand, and we will do our best to protect you, to provide public safety, and to be your first friend during your stay here in Phuket and all across the country of Thailand,” Gen Suwat concluded.

Also present today was Jan Dirk Kaethner, Police Attache of the Embassy of Switzerland in Bangkok.

“I would like to thank General-Commissioner Suwat and my colleagues of the Royal Thai Police for the huge effort they are putting in the investigation of this terrible murder case,” Mr Kaethner said.

“The victim, the family of the victim and all the people of Thailand deserve a professional and swift investigation of this crime. I’m very confident that the hard work of the Royal Thai Police under the leadership of Gen Suwat will lead the investigation to success.

“Gen Suwat brought his best team, his best officers, and I know from my experience this is a guarantee for success. I would also like to thank the government and authorities of Thailand for their big effort to make the beautiful Phuket safe again. Thank you very much,” he added.

The B200,000 reward offered by local tourism businesses for catching Ms Sauvain-Weisskopf’s killer was today received by the police officers who conducted the investigation. The officers also received bouquets of flowers in gratitude for their efforts.

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Kurt | 10 August 2021 - 11:05:12

@sympassion, Tourists pay already Thai tourist tax, included in ticket. Hotels/guesthouses transfer from room bills already tourist tax. A lot of money from tourists flows to Government coffers. What they do with it? Nobody knows. Certainly not keeping Phuket clean, not increasing/upgrading incinerator capacity. Dump 'in the wild' of construction waste, plastic, styrofoam is Thai pollution...

sympassion | 10 August 2021 - 08:59:20

Can we please show more respect to each other and contribute positively? Pointing to each other or officials doesn’t bring us any further. How are YOU going to contribute to a safe and attractive Phuket?

sympassion | 10 August 2021 - 08:21:59

Contribution to those who are desperate is not only about donating. Why not ask all visitors pay 500 baht for keeping Phuket clean? As 14.000 have arrived last month it’s about 7.000.000 baht per month. How many Phuket families could get some of that by contributing to cleaning themselves? Now Phuket gets many negative reviews (look e.g. on TripAdvisor) about the litter. Clean beaches attract! 

Kurt | 10 August 2021 - 01:36:37

@ Pascale, I many years did donate here and there when I saw the need/ was asked. But as my mother said: 'Love has to come from 2 sides'. I wait now to be vaccinated first as I am age wise in the high risk group. After that I restart donating. Reading that they now go to vaccinate 12-18 yr old kids first, making it for me, again, later, closed for me the donation door.

Kurt | 10 August 2021 - 01:23:56

@Pascale, don't derail, I was writing about the noble thinking of Sympassion, not about myself. You consider me being a guest here. Don't ask the guest for contributions, that is what a responsible feeling State does, taking care of her national citizens. It must be a clear signal to Government to do more as thai people now even must steel food. 

Fascinated | 09 August 2021 - 23:13:55

Mr Ed- I get the feeling Chiangrai's comment is in the wrong thread- it makes no sense or relevance here.

[Agreed. Chiangrai? Ed]

Dick | 09 August 2021 - 20:35:46

I am with you too Pascale!   Cheers!!

Chiangrai | 09 August 2021 - 17:42:21

"The act was an event of protest against international white privilege. Protestor acted largely peaceful throughout most part of the event " -CNN journalism

GerryT81 | 09 August 2021 - 16:52:48

Hey Xi-kiddo. Please add me to the list because I totally agree with Pascale . Thank you and have a nice day at the playground !

Xi_Virus | 09 August 2021 - 15:51:16

Kurt: Add PaXcale to the Traxh list.

quinault11 | 09 August 2021 - 12:49:50

if you think it is the truth, it is.

Dick | 09 August 2021 - 11:55:52

Dear TAT, please don't blame failure of Sandbox to the murder!!  The failure is simply due to bureaucracy in handling the entrance and the COE requirement!!!

Pascale | 09 August 2021 - 11:14:54

@ XiVirus    I think the only troll on here are you. Your childish comments lack any logic or sense.And your obsession with X is quite annoying. Please try to grow up or keep playing in a sandbox.

Pascale | 09 August 2021 - 11:09:15

@Kurt   As you did show many times already , the"noble" thinking is not in your mind. Always pointing to others with a bigger budget first. Btw,as you are so well informed about the payment Phuket officials receive , maybe you  could share the figures with us ?

tamvong | 09 August 2021 - 10:52:33

They interviewed witnesses? What witnesses? Why didn't they stop the attack? She was "naked from the waist down." For God's sake, how likely is this? Did the "witnesses" corroborate this? This is beginning to look like Koh Tao 2.0.

Xi_Virus | 09 August 2021 - 10:32:37

Kurt: Don't wast your time on these Xymp and his allies like TheTrashKraxh, Ximat, Xigogo, Xiverich ... 

These are govt TROLLx so called 50 cent army of Xhan-ZORO-xha.
Their aim is to hide the TRUTH and change the narrative of the media.

Their comments NEVER have anything with the News but directed towards others!!

Xi_Virus | 09 August 2021 - 10:23:20

Nice SCRIPT but BADLY Fabricated !!!

Kurt | 09 August 2021 - 09:53:13

@sympassion. Very noble to suggest all should think along. Lets wait for very, very well paid Phuket Officialdom to think and start to do things, than 'we' can join. Further than closing Phuket entry point, except for bringing home from elsewhere  Covid-19 patients to Phuket and giving Covid patients a color we not see social actions to help Thai brothers and sisters with sufficient suppor...

Christy Sweet | 09 August 2021 - 09:39:46

The 'aroused' statement was from a 'source' according to Bangkok post which was then picked up on as an admission and rumored into a full blown confession. Thaiger is doing the worst reporting, claiming "Where he lived, Thalang is near the crime scene." TPN is doing the best- as usual.

Kurt | 09 August 2021 - 09:11:12

What is this? RTP officers allowed to receive a B200,000 reward? For doing once what is their duty/job to do? No shame at all? Sickening.

sympassion | 09 August 2021 - 08:55:13

What the killer did is terrible. It seems he acted out of desperation as he had no income due to covid. Millions of people have (hardly) no income. Others like me go on holiday. I feel very much ashamed of not caring more about the ones who are desperate. What happened   is very bad for the image of Phuket.  Why don't we all think along how we can make Phuket Sandbox a success? 

JohnC | 09 August 2021 - 08:52:58

.[..reward was received by the police officers who conducted the investigation]. No surprise here, most times you want them to do their job you have to pay them or they won't do anything to help you. Try having to pay them 5000B just to come and tell bad noisy neighbours to be quiet.... Do the right thing RTP, give the reward money to the relatives of the poor woman.

lelecuneo | 09 August 2021 - 08:18:42

i kill her but i did not waned is this?? 

Timothy | 09 August 2021 - 08:11:23

Wasn't is just yesterday the police said that he saw the woman, became aroused, but when he attempted to act on that impulse the woman resisted? Now they are claiming he wasn't trying to rape her he just wanted her belongings. It's things like this that make people suspicious. It doesn't help that some other police stated that she was raped. 


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