A millionaire businesswoman was beaten to death with a baseball bat by her gambling addict boyfriend who fled with her money to a neighbouring country on casino spending spree, police believe.
Property tycoon Thitima Tangwibunphanit, 39, checked into a luxury hotel with Atsaya Chaipa, 33, at the beginning of July in Bangkok.
The couple were last seen on CCTV entering her room at 10.40pm on July 26 – before Atsaya emerged alone three hours later.
Thitima’s worried family alerted police when she failed to return their calls – and her body was found slumped against the gold satin bedsheets on July 30. Her face was covered in blood and she had a shattered skull.
A black baseball bat that police believe was used to beat her to death was found on the bed.
Officers have now launched a man hunt for Atsaya who fled in Thitima’s E-Class Mercedes and is believed to have gone on a gambling spree in neighbouring Cambodia having stolen the equivalent of thousands of pounds from Thitima’s bank account.
Police said that Atsaya was a gambling addict who used his wealthy girlfriend’s earnings to fund his habit – and that he has bow gone on a casino spending blowout in Cambodia where gambling is legal. It is banned in Thailand.
Thitma’s devastated brother Pathomphat said ”My little sister means everything to our family now she is gone forever. I pray my little princess rests happily in heaven.”
Her father, Amnuay, said his daughter had also recently landed a major government contract to build a housing block.
He added: ”My daughter was an angel. She was so special. So successful.”
Police said that Thitima – who owned three fuel stations, a haulage company, a tyre supplier, a property development firm, a media company and a number of properties – had made previous complaints against Atsaya whom she accused of assaulting her.
But officers said they had continued their toxic relationship, with Atsaya said to have borrowed large sums of money from his wealthy wife, who owned three fuel stations and a property construction firm.
They said that the car was left in a parking lot in Chanthaburi province, eastern Thailand, before Atsaya crossed the border into Cambodia.
Pol Col Surapol Khamchoo from the Chokchai district police station said an arrest warrant for Atsaya on charges of ”intentional killing” and ”burglary at night”.
He added: ”Police officers in Thailand are working with the authorities in Cambodia to trace Mr Atsaya Chaipa. He had driven the woman’s car to the border.
”One situation we believe that is possible is that the suspect killed his partner during a fight and then stole her car and money.
”The Ratchada Criminal Court has issued a warrant for the arrest of Mr Atsaya Chaipa on charges of intentional killing and burglary at night.”