A Spanish chef and YouTube personality pleaded guilty to murder for dismembering his boyfriend, Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, while the two were visiting a popular Thailand beach resort.
Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, reportedly confessed to Thai authorities that he killed Arrieta, a 44-year-old plastic surgeon from Colombia, in an argument over “sex and money,” reports the Daily Mail.
Sancho arrived in Thailand on July 31 as a tourist, and reportedly arrived, with Arrieta in tow, to attend a party on Koh Pha-ngan, a popular beach destination in the southeastern part of the country best known for its monthly Full Moon Party. The raucous night-long celebration is tied to the lunar calendar and draws international revelers to its outdoor rave event.
Police allege that Sancho murdered Arrieta and cut his body into 14 pieces before dumping them in the sea and other places around the island. He later filed a missing persons report with police on August 3.
Hours before Sancho filed the police report, Arrieta’s hips and thighs had been found by locals at a nearby landfill. Trash collectors found additional human remains belonging to Arrieta on the following day. Police used DNA tests to confirm Arrieta’s identity, and questioned Sancho, who reportedly admitted to murdering the surgeon last Friday.
On Sunday, Sancho led police to seven sites around the island where he allegedly disposed of the body parts, and directed officers to a spot on the beach where he used a kayak to dump other body parts in the sea. Police divers later recovered Arrieta’s head and hands. They continue to search for other remains.
Local media reported that investigations showed Sancho allegedly bought a knife, rubber gloves, and a bottle of cleaning agent, which led police to conclude the killing was premeditated.
Sancho was detained and put on suicide watch ahead of a court appearance, at which he ultimately pleaded guilty to murder charges, reports the BBC. He is being held without bail.
Thai news outlets have claimed that Sancho allegedly told police was being blackmailed by Arrieta, who had threatened to release intimate photos of them on social media — which could have harmed Sancho’s career and personal life.
Those same outlets have claimed Arrieta had advanced close to 10,000 euros to Sancho to help him open a restaurant in Spain, and provided him with a credit card. But Sancho, who reportedly had a girlfriend in Spain, allegedly wanted to sever ties with Arrieta and end the blackmail threat, so he invited Arrieta to the island with the intent of murdering him and disposing of the body.
Police Lieutenant General Surapong Thanomjit claimed that Sancho had confessed to killing Arrieta while in custody, reports the Daily Mail.
“He claimed that the victim was angry when he refused to sleep with him. Then he punched him in the head, causing him to fall over and hit the bathtub, so he cut the body to disguise the death,” Thanomjit said. “Investigators found traces of the victim’s body in the hotel room the suspect booked.”
Sancho, the son of renowned Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho Aguirre and actress Silvia Bronchalo, and the grandson of the later actor Félix Ángel Sancho Gracia, told the Spanish news agency EFE that he had been a “hostage” to Arrieta, who was obsessed with him.
Sancho’s family released a statement asking for “maximum respect, both for Daniel Sancho himself and for the whole family, in these delicate moments of maximum confusion.”
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