DNA testing indicates the room of Artur Segarra, the prime suspect in the gruesome murder of his Spanish compatriot, was where David Bernat was killed and dismembered, Pol Gen Panya Mamen, the lead investigator, confirmed on Friday.
Pol Gen Panya on Friday asserted DNA samples retrieved from bloodstains in Mr Segarra's room at PG Rama IX Condominium in Huai Khwang district belonged to Bernat, 40, whose body parts were discarded in different locations in the Chao Phraya River late last month.
Bernat, a consultant to a foreign company, was reported missing from his apartment in Nantiruj Tower, Klong Toey district on the night of Jan 20 after he was last seen on CCTV footage riding a motorcycle with Mr Segarra from his apartment.
Pol Gen Panya said forensic results and witness accounts were sufficient to take legal action against the suspect.
According to the investigation, Pol Gen Panya presumed Bernat was detained, tortured and killed by Mr Segarra in the room. His body was chopped up before being dumped into the river.
Pol Gen Panya said the investigation "has made significant progress". However, police are still trying to identify locations where the body parts, tools used to commit the crime and the victim's motorcycle were discarded.
Police said they found no DNA of the victim at Mr Segarra's rented house in Soi Ramkhamhaeng 174. However, DNA of an unidentified man and woman were found at that location.
Pol Gen Panya suspected Mr Segarra was acting on his own when he allegedly killed Bernat. However, other people could be involved in dismembering the body and discarding the parts.
He said DNA samples on Mr Segarra's motorcycle were also collected to confirm he used the vehicle to escape authorities.
Last Saturday, the motorcycle was abandoned near the Sombat border market in Surin’s border district of Kap Choeng, according to accounts given by his Thai girlfriend, Pritsana Saen-ubon. The suspect rode the motorcycle after fleeing a karaoke bar in Surin’s Muang district after he had seen his photogrpah on the TV news.
He was later apprehended in Cambodia on Sunday and extradited to Thailand the following day.
Apart from DNA samples, Pol Gen Panya said the money trail between the suspect and the victim also indicated Mr Segarra could be behind the brutal murder.
The money trail indicated more than 37 million baht was wired twice from Bernat’s account in Singapore to Mr Segarra’s account.
On Feb 4, Mr Segarra withdrew several million baht of the wired money from his account.
The withdrawals were made from ATMs in Bangkok’s Min Buri district and Ayutthaya’s Wang Noi district and over the counter at Kasikornbank’s Suwinthawong branch in Bangkok.
Despite the clear evidence and a useful account from Ms Pritsana, Pol Gen Panya said police still had to gather more clues in the case to ensure Mr Segarra will be brought to justice.
He said he was "not worried about the case" as Mr Segarra was still in the first period of his detention. Police will wrap the case up and forward it to prosecutors.