However, in a twist in the case, after originally confessing to the crime in July, the accused man, Nico Papke, during the first hearing back in October last year denied the charges brought against him.
On July 8 last year, police confirmed they were looking for a German man who was believed to be able to provide information leading to the whereabouts of a Phuket woman who had not been since June 30.
Pischa “Lek” Nampadung, a 35-year-old beautician at a salon in Rawai, was last seen embroiled in an argument with boyfriend at her rented room near the Rawai beachfront, reported Chalong Police. (See Story here.)
On July 9, police were hoping to identify the body of a woman found wrapped in blankets and dumped in the jungle in Phuket’s Wichit sub-district.
The body was found wrapped in blankets and bound with packing or insulation tape beside the road about 600 metres along the newly graded track leading into the jungle north of the cement factory on Muang Chaofa Rd. (See story here.)
Also on July 9, police confirmed that a German man was in hospital under careful watch after he slashed his own throat with a box cutter while police moved in to arrest him for the murder of a Phuket woman whose body was found dumped in the jungle in Wichit. (See story here.)
It was then confirmed on July 10 that police had sent samples from blood stains found inside a car rented by Papke to determine whether DNA tests match the blood as that of Ms Pischa, whose body was found dumped in the Phuket jungle. (See story here.)
Just two days later, on July 12, police confirmed that they had charged Papke, a 35-year-old fitness instructor who lived in Rawai, for the murder of his girlfriend Ms Pischa. (See story here.)
Then on July 13, police said they were investigating a large blood stain found on the mattress in the room of slain Rawai beautician Ms Pischa that was discovered by relatives who were gathering her belongings after her funeral on July 12. (See story here.)
At Chalong Police Station on July 18, Papke confessed to killing his Ms Pischa when he had been escorted under armed guard from Vachira Phuket Hospital, where he had been recovering from the slash wound to his throat. (See story here.)
Move on to September last year, and it was said that Papke would make his first court appearance at the beginning of October.
At that time it was also confirmed that forensic results from stains found on a mattress inside in Ms Pischa’s rented room in Chalong and bloodstains found in a car rented by Papke matched that of the victim. (See story here.)
It was during this first court appearance that Papke changed his plea from guilty to not guilty.
Speaking to The Phuket News yesterday (Mar 15), Chalong Police Deputy Superintendent Lt Col Somsak Sopakarn said, During the first court hearing (in October) Papke denied the murder charges brought against him.
“He said he did not attempt to kill Ms Pischa.”
“On that date the judge said that the trial would begin on April 30, 2018.
“We have enough evidence to prove that Papke murdered Ms Pischa and that he also attempted to conceal her body,” Lt Col Somsak confirmed.