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Missing businessman's dismembered body found in freezer with chainsaw and hedge clippers, Thai police say

The dismembered body of a missing German businessman was found in a freezer inside a house in southern Thailand, police said Tuesday.

Tawee Kudthalaeng, the police chief in the town of Nong Prue, said the body of 62-year-old Hans-Peter Mack was discovered at about 11 p.m. Monday. Mack had been missing since July 4, the Bangkok Post reported.

Investigators located his body by using security camera videos from the area, Tawee said. He did not elaborate, but photos and video published by Thai media showed the freezer in the bed of a black truck with a man squatting next to it.

Thailand Germany Dismembered Body
A Thai reporter takes a photo of an empty freezer at the Nong Prue police station in Pattaya, Chonburi province, Thailand, Tuesday, July 11, 2023. The dismembered body of a 62-year-old German businessman Hans-Peter Mack was found in the freezer of a house in southern Thailand, police said Tuesday.  / AP

Mack was last seen driving his Mercedes sedan in Pattaya, a coastal city in southern Thailand, according to a missing person announcement distributed by his family that offered a reward of 3 million baht ($86,000) for information leading to his return.

Crowds gathered outside the gates of the house where his body was discovered and watched as forensic teams in white coveralls, hair nets and blue gloves pored over the scene.

Video broadcast on Thai PBS television showed experts inside the dwelling going through a garbage bag taken from a large white freezer. They pulled out a Makita cordless chainsaw and charging unit, a pair of yellow-handled hedge clippers and two large rolls of plastic.

The bag was taken out of the home, followed by a body covered with a plastic sheet on a stretcher and the freezer.

Mack lived in Pattaya with his Thai wife and worked as a real estate broker, according to local media reports. He had been a resident of Thailand for at least several years.

According to Thai PBS, his wife said that on the day he went missing, she was supposed to have lunch with Mack, but he didn't show up.

She tried calling him, the station reported, and a text message was later sent to her mobile phone, claiming he would call back. At about 10pm that night, she said she received another text from Mack's phone saying he was still with a client, according to the station. However, she said he had never texted her before in their five-year-relationship, Thai PBS reported.

His Mercedes E350 was found Sunday in the parking lot of a condominium in Nong Prue, an upscale settlement popular with foreigners northeast of Pattaya in Chonburi province.

According to police, there were traces of what appeared to be a cleaning solvent on the seats, dashboard, steering wheel and other areas of the car.

"There was intention to destroy evidence and the case indicates that Mr. Hans-Peter Ralter Mack's disappearance was suspicious," Police Major General Theerachai Chamnanmor said, according to the Bangkok Post.

Tawee said police determined that a large amount of money was missing from Mack's bank account, which they suspect is linked to the slaying. The police chief refused to elaborate but said investigators were looking into several suspects, both German nationals and Thai.

The German Embassy in Bangkok referred all queries to the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin, which said it was aware of the case of a missing German citizen and that officials were in contact with the man's relatives and Thai authorities. It said it could not give further details for privacy reasons.

The telephone number listed on the missing person poster went unanswered Tuesday.

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