Theerawat Thortip, 27, of Phuket, Thailand has been arrested. He is accused of killing Nicole Sauvin-Weisskopf, 57, of Switzerland.
On July 13, 2021, Sauvin-Weisskopf arrived in Phuket under the Phuket Sandbox reopening plan, a program that allows vaccinated tourists from certain countries to avoid quarantine amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. She was the assistant protocol chief of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland.
On the afternoon of August 5, 2021, a local resident found Sauvin-Weisskopf dead at the Ao Yon Waterfall in tambon Vichit of Muang district in Phuket. Phuket governor Narong Woonciew has extended heartfelt condolences on her death.
“On behalf of Phuket province and Phuket people, I would like to express deep condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Nicole and to the Swiss Confederation,” the Bangkok Post quoted Woonciew as saying. The governor also promised that everything possible would be done to ensure justice for Sauvin-Weisskopf.
According to police in Thailand, Thortip took 300 Thai baht ($9) from Sauvin-Weisskopf and used part of the money to buy illegal drugs. He had admitted to robbing and killing the Swiss tourist, authorities said at a press conference on August 8, 2021.
During the press conference, Thortip apologized to the Thai people and to Sauvin-Weisskopf’s family while he was in a room with his lawyer and his wife. The suspect and his wife have one child, 11.
“I lost my job because of COVID-19 and still have no job,” CNN quoted Thortip as saying. “My income is so small.”