Chiang Rai Fisherman Discovers 70 Year-Old American Pensioner Floating Dead in Mekong
CHIANG KHONG – On the morning of Wednesday, September 7, a fisherman in Chiang Rai’s Wiang sub-district discovered the body of 70 year-old American Robert James Fossum (Translated from Thai) floating face down off the shore of the Mekong river in Chiang Khong.
The villager was going fishing when he set out his rod and to his shock noticed a body floating face down on the river, the body was floating lifeless through the waves.
The fisherman immediatly contacted officers from Chiang Khong Provincial Police Station, where police, local rescue workers and a physician from the local Hospital were dispatched to investigate the scene.
Chiang Khong Police reported that after rescue workers had pulled his body from the water, they dicovered that he was not wearing any trousers but merely a navy blue long-sleeve shirt and a pair of running shoes.
Police later established his identity as Robert James Fossum a 70-year-old American National.
After a brief physical examination the medical examiner said that Mr Fossum had been dead for approximately seven to eight hours and that there were no signs of violence on the body.
Upon searching his body police found a key to a room in a hotel in Chiang Khong district, after a search of the hotel room they found a farewell letter announcing his upcoming suicide. Police questioned employees of the hotel and learned that Mr Fossum had arrived on September 6, one day before he was found dead.
Hotel staff said they saw Mr Fossum on the morning of September 6 leaving his room. He was looking “as if he was going to exercise”, they told police investigators.
The next time anyone saw Mr Fossum was when he was floating dead in the Mekong river.
Chiang Khong police are now contacting the US Embassy to inform them about the incident, his body will be sent to Bangkok’s forensic institute for a formal post-mortem examination.
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