Daniel Sancho, son of Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho Aguirre, admitted to killing Colombian surgeon Edwin Arrieta, he was arrested on Monday. He went with investigators to the seven locations on Sunday, including a beach where he said he dumped plastic bags containing parts of his victim’s dismembered body. The crime shook the island of Koh Phangan, in Thailand, considered a tourist paradise.
Daniel Sancho Bronchal admitted to killing Colombian Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, 44, and explained why he did it. The investigators also analyzed images captured by video cameras on the island, writes El Pais.
Arrieta had reserved a hotel room for the period July 31 to August 3. Sancho arrived at the island before him. Thai police claim that the Colombian has paid all expenses.
Although Sancho was staying in the room booked by Arrieta, he had made another hotel reservation for August 1 and 2 near Salat Beach, police confirmed to the Bangkok Post. On August 1, the two had dinner at a restaurant near the hotel. In the evening, the Spaniard was caught on surveillance cameras buying knives, rubber gloves, garbage bags and cleaning products at a store, according to the same source.
In his first statement to police, Sancho said he first saw Arrieta on Wednesday, August 2 at around 3pm when he went to the pier to pick him up. In that statement, Sancho said they ate at a restaurant and then went to Hat Rin Beach, near the hotel where they were staying. However, the murder had taken place a day earlier.
In his statement to police on Saturday, Sancho claimed that Arrieta came to his hotel room on August 1 and asked him to have sex. The Spaniard said he refused and that, in anger, he pushed the Colombian, who fell and hit his head on the bathtub. Sancho decided to get rid of the body, so he dismembered it and dumped the body in various locations on the island, including the sea.
To do this, he rented a kayak from a center about 300 meters from the hotel where the murder took place. According to the women at the rental center, Sancho came in on Tuesday, August 1, around 9 p.m., visibly agitated and asking to “rent a boat.” Although they told him it was not safe to go out in the kayak at night, they finally accepted the $1,000 the Spaniard gave him when he insisted on “buying it.”
After throwing a suitcase with Arrieta’s remains into the sea, Sancho returned to his room. He left on Thursday, August 3 at 9:00 a.m., according to the Bangkok Post.
During the day, local media reported that a plastic bag with human intestines was found at a landfill. In an article published that day, the Bangkok Post wrote that forensics estimated that the murder took place at least 24 hours before the body parts were discovered and that the remains, due to their size, must have belonged to a foreigner.
Sancho went to a party on Thursday with two girls he met at the hotel. After returning from the event – and after news of the murder hit the media – he reported missing his Colombian friend, who he said had arrived on the island on Wednesday, the day after the murder.
On Friday, at the same landfill, several human remains, including two pieces of legs, as well as some clothes, were found in a plastic bag. Following these findings, investigators decided to question Sancho as a suspect on Friday. The police also noticed that the Spaniard had cuts and scratches on his body when he came to report him missing, according to the EFE news agency.
“I’m guilty, but I was seized by Edwin”
The police checked the hotel room that Sancho had booked and found that the fridge, toilet and sink were completely clean. However, forensics collected samples of hair and tissue from the sewer.
Sancho admitted the crime in the presence of his Thai court-appointed lawyers and several officers from the police station.
“I’m guilty, but I was seized by Edwin,” he said. He had previously denied being the perpetrator of the crime.
Sancho denied having a romantic relationship with the victim, as Colombian Arrieta’s family told investigators.
“He was obsessed with me. He deceived me, he made me think that he wanted to do business, to invest in the company where I am associated. […] But they were all lies. The only thing he wanted was for me to be his lover,” Sancho claimed. “Every time I tried to get away from him, he threatened me,” he told EFE.
On Sunday, agents took Sancho to different areas of the island to reenact the crime.
Following DNA tests on human remains found at the island’s landfill and hair and tissue samples obtained by forensics, the victim was identified as Arrieta, a surgeon from the Colombian city of Lorica.
Sancho is charged with premeditated murder. The Thai penal code provides for life imprisonment and the death penalty for murder, but the latter can be commuted by the Thai king, as he did three years ago in the case of another Spaniard, Artur Segarra, who in 2016 was sentenced to death for the murder and dismemberment of David Bernat in Bangkok. Segarra is now serving a life sentence. Article 288 of the Criminal Code also provides for a penalty of 15 to 20 years in prison for murder, which can be increased if there are aggravating circumstances in the case.
Editor : G.M.