This is a sad story that I touched on briefly the other day. Henrik Rasmussen, 47, was a Danish tourist holidaying with his cousin. Henrik suffered from Down syndrome and went missing from Royal Paradise Hotel in the early hours of January 28.
Despite a reward of 10,000 baht being offered and various search parties looking for Henrik, there was no news until his bloated body turned up in a khlong behind the hotel. He had, according to police, been dead for about five days.
Henrik had the mental capacity of a 12-year-old and, according to the cousin, he had become confused and disoriented and may have left the hotel thinking he was in Denmark to look for a lost cellphone. For about five days, he was somewhere in Patong. Four-hundred leaflets featuring Henrik’s photo were given out and not one person said they had seen him.
I find it hard to believe that a 47-year-old Danish man with Down syndrome wasn’t seen, especially staying in the heart of Patong. Police noted that the body was not reported until the reward had been raised to 20,000 baht.
There were three wounds to the body, although it’s unclear at this stage how they got there. We still don’t know whether this is a case of murder or just a tragic accident.
Before the body was discovered, the Danish family had said how outraged they were by the lack of support received from the local police. Obviously, the police weren’t looking very hard because the body turned up right next to where Henrik was staying.
Even before the body was found, I had said to our new sub editor that the police wouldn’t do anything and that there was no chance of them going out of their way for a missing-person case.
The Thai papers have been reporting all sorts of mistakes. Thai Rath reported in a front-page story that Henrik was a successful real-estate businessman whose head had been almost severed off.
I have little hope of there being any resolution in this case and I’m surprised that this hasn’t, to my knowledge, been covered in The Nation or the Post.