A Jordanian tourist has reportedly admitted to tying his son to a pram and tipping it along with the toddler into the sea off a pier in South Pattaya.
The body of the 18-month-old boy was found floating in the sea Monday evening.
Wael Nabil Salman Zureikat, 52, made the confession after being arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport later the same day, police said.
“Immigration officials noticed that he was acting suspiciously while trying to get a flight out of Thailand. So, we detained him for questioning. That’s when he said he felt stressed out and vengeful when his much younger wife had left him to take care of their baby alone during the couple’s trip to Thailand,” Immigration Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Surachate Hakparn said on Tuesday.
Surachate did not name the suspect’s wife, but said she was just 24 years old.
Pattaya police revealed that the suspect had been interrogated overnight before making the confession.
“He killed his son, while his wife knew nothing of it,” said Pol Lt-Colonel Piyapong Ainsarn, an inspector in Pattaya’s tourist police.
“He [said he] was worried he may not have had enough money to raise his child. His wife is now grieving. She had never imagined that her husband would kill their own child in such a cold-blooded manner,” Piyapong said, raising the possibility of financial pressure contributing to the Jordanian’s extreme action.
Speedboat captain Songseen Sunthornchai, who first discovered the body, said that when he saw the child floating in the sea, he had initially though it was a doll.
“But when I got closer, I could see it was a baby,” he was quoted as saying by The Thaiger.
An autopsy on the toddler suggested the child might have been dead for a few days before his body was found.
An investigation soon led tourist police and immigration officials to Suvarnabhumi Airport, where the Jordanian father was detained.
During his detention, he reportedly admitted to tying the feet of his son to a pram and tipping his child into the sea at Bali Hai pier in the middle of the night “the other day”.
According to a Rak Siam News report, the Jordanian said his wife had told him that if they had a child she would take responsibility for looking after the baby.
He told police that they had come to Thailand on holiday but all his wife wanted to do was go out on the town all night and leave him alone with their child.
He said he had become stressed by the situation and decided to kill the child and flee the country.
Police have now charged the Jordanian with premeditated murder.
Surachate said the man would be prosecuted and receive the appropriate legal punishment in Thailand, before being allowed to return to his home country.