Bangkok: 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 for a week.
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.
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.
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.
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.