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US citizen in Thailand charged with murdering Thai wife

BANGKOK — Police in Thailand said Friday they have charged a U.S. citizen from the state of Colorado with murdering his pregnant Thai wife.

Jason Matthew Balzer, 32, was interrogated Friday in the northern city of Nan where he had lived with Pitchaporn Kidchob, said police Lt. Col. Somkiat Ruam-ngern. The murder charge carries a maximum penalty of death.

Balzer was arrested Thursday in the northern city of Chiang Mai and confessed to killing his 32-year-old wife, said Maj. Gen. Weerachon Boontawee, chief of Provincial Police Region 5’s Detective Department. It was unclear if Balzer had a lawyer representing him. Balzer’s last known residence in the U.S. was in Longmont, Colorado.

According to Weerachon, Balzer said Pitchaporn had “given him hope,” so he married her and bought her a house in Nan, her home province. Balzer said he became enraged when she tried to chase him out, so he stabbed her with a knife, the police officer said.

He said Balzer put her body in a rubbish bin that he sealed and buried in the woods about 3 miles from their home. Balzer then drove on a motorbike to Chiang Mai, where he was arrested, Weerachon said.

Police had been alerted to a possible crime when Pitchaporn’s mother, who was unable to reach her daughter by phone, went to the couple’s house and found bloodstains.

Balzer, a programmer, met Pitchaporn in Thailand in 2017 and they were married in the U.S., after which Balzer quit his job, sold all his property and moved to Nan, the newspaper Thai Rath reported, citing Provincial Police Region 5 commander Prachuab Wongsuk.

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