Police have spoken to a key female witness about the case in which a dismembered body was found in the freezer at a Bangkok building and are confident they will have significant evidence this week.
Police raided the building used by an alleged American passport-forging gang in Phra Khanong district last Friday and found the body of a foreign male in the freezer.
They interrogated the alleged leader of the gang, who was eventually identified as Herbert Gery Lefron, 63, of Baltimore, Maryland, for 16 hours on Friday to try and establish who killed the man. Lefron had previously used another alias.
However, Lefron insisted he was not the murderer and that he only dismembered the body of Hungarian national Charles Edward Ditlefsen to fit in the freezer. He claimed the killer was his friend, who had since died of cancer.
Police do not believe his story, and Bangkok police chief Lt-General Sanit Mahathaworn said that Lefron's claim contradicted the evidence.
He said the "important" female witness was close to Lefron and could be the key to the case.
"This unidentified witness will be interrogated to link the connection to other witnesses' claims, evidence, and the forensic examination, which will make everything become clear," Sanit said.
"I am now satisfied with the evidence and the witnesses we have. However, it will take time for the officers to investigate carefully every aspect and everything should be clear by next week [this week].
"It should be noted that if we want to understand who Lefron really is, we have to ask the persons close to him."
He promised that police would bring the killer to justice.
After being interrogated, Lefron was taken to Police General Hospital early yesterday morning for rest.
Lefron told police that Ditlefsen was killed because of a US$60,000 (S$81 million) debt.
Police described Lefron as bad-tempered and sadistic, based on information they had received.
"He did not speak clearly and police still do not believe him," Sanit said. "However, he already has his lawyer to defend himself as per international justice standards."
Sanit also revealed that the investigation team aimed to learn how Lefron used a fake passport to enter the country and find if more than one person was involved in the murder.