Rodolfo Sancho Aguirre’s Son Charged in Gruesome Murder in Thailand

The son of a well-known Spanish actor has been detained in Thailand and charged with murdering a surgeon and attempting to conceal the crime by dismembering the man’s body and dumping the remains at several sites.

Daniel Sancho Bronchal, 29, the son of actor Rodolfo Sancho Aguirre, appeared in court on Monday in connection with the grisly case in Koh Phangan—a picturesque island popular among tourists for its famed “full moon” parties. Sancho was taken into custody shortly after severed body parts were found in at a landfill on the island.

According to Reuters, Sancho accompanied police to seven locations on Sunday including a beach where he allegedly dropped plastic bags containing some of the remains of his victim. Police later identified the deceased as Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, 44, a Colombian surgeon.

Sancho, whose mother is also an actor, works as a chef and had traveled to Thailand for a vacation. Local media broadcast security camera footage riding on a motorcycle together the day before the body parts were found in the landfill. Authorities said the investigation is still ongoing and that a search is continuing to locate the rest of the remains.

Police say DNA was used to identify Arrieta as the victim and that they had other forms of evidence against Sancho. Authorities say Sancho has already confessed to the crimes.

According to Spain’s El País newspaper, Sancho was seen on the evening of Aug. 1 buying knives, garbage bags, rubber gloves, and cleaning utensils at a store. He and Arrieta had dined together earlier on the same day. In his confession, Sancho reportedly told police Arrieta had gone to his hotel room and asked him to have sex.

When Sancho refused, he said, he pushed Arrieta, causing the surgeon to fall and hit his head on a bathtub. It was at that point he allegedly attempted to cover his tracks by cutting up Arrieta’s body and dumping the remains at several spots around the island, including in the sea.

Two women who run a kayak rental store close to where the murder allegedly took place said Sancho arrived in an agitated state at around 9 p.m. on Aug. 1 asking to “hire a boat.” The women said they told Sancho it wasn’t safe for a tourist to go out on the water at night but that they eventually allowed him to buy a boat for $1,000.

He then allegedly dumped a suitcase containing some of Arrieta’s remains in the sea before going back to his hotel room. According to the Bangkok Post, Sancho checked out of his hotel on Aug. 4—the same day a garbage collector reportedly found a human pelvis and intestines stuffed inside a bag at the landfill. The following day, more remains were found at the same site. A black plastic bag was found containing a black t-shirt, a pair of shorts and a pair of boxer shorts, and two human legs.

Sancho’s father is best known in Spain for his appearance in El Ministerio del Tiempo (The Ministry of Time). On Sunday, Sancho’s family released a statement requesting “maximum respect, both for Daniel Sancho himself and for the whole family, in these delicate moments of maximum confusion.”

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