American held over killing of Australian in Thailand

American held over killing of Australian in Thailand
PHOTO: The Nation/ANN

SA KAEW Immigration Police yesterday apprehended an American who was suspected of being involved in the abduction and murder of an Australian former Hells Angels member in Chon Buri province, while he was about to cross the border into Cambodia.

Tyler Joseph Fulton Sheen Gerard, 21, who had a right-arm wound and a leg injury, was apprehended as he resembled one of the kidnapper suspects and an initial police investigation was convinced of alleged links to the abduction case.

After recording his name in the Immigration Police watch list, police asked for his co-operation to return to Pattaya for testimony and asked Pattaya Police to pick him up.

Police are now looking for his four alleged accomplices, including Australian national Antonio Bagnato, 26, a chief suspect for whom an arrest warrant had been issued.

It was reported that the victim and Bagnato had been out drinking together the night before the kidnap.

Police have also apprehended for a Thai woman with an Australian husband, as she alledgedly rented the pick-up truck that was used in the abduction.

Wayne Rodney Schneider, 37, was abducted at gunpoint from outside his house in Pattaya on Monday by a group of masked men, believed to be foreigners. His body was found in a shallow grave in Chon Buri's Sattahip district on Tuesday, police said.

"He was murdered. His body was buried 2 metres deep in a woodland area out of town," Pattaya Police commander Pol Colonel Sukthat Pumpanmuang said.

He said five people were believed to be involved in the kidnap and murder. An autopsy would be carried out to determine the cause of Schneider's death, he added. The Australian had been in Thailand for around a month and had rented a house, putting down a Bt130,000 deposit for six months.

The Sydney Morning Herald said Schneider had previously had run-ins with the law in his homeland, linked to his membership in the Hells Angels.

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