YouTuber butchered surgeon and scattered his remains around Thai tourist hotspot in grisly sex murder

9 August 2023, 11:03

Daniel Sancho Bronchalo has confessed to the killing of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga
Daniel Sancho Bronchalo has confessed to the killing of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga. Picture: Alamy/Facebook

By Kit Heren

A YouTuber is accused of murdering a surgeon in a Thailand tourist hotspot, cutting him up and scattering his remains around the island.

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Spanish chef Daniel Sancho Bronzalo, 29, has been charged with pre-meditated murder and concealment of a body, after admitting killing Colombian Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, 44 on August 1.

Mr Arrieta's remains were found in plastic bags around the island of Koh Phagnan, well known for its wild 'Full Moon' beach parties.

Sancho, the son of Spanish film stars Rodolfo Sancho and Silvia Bronchalo, first reported Mr Arrieta missing last week, and was later arrested in connection with his death.

He confessed to the killing on Saturday August 5, but denies that it was pre-meditated.

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Daniel Sancho
Daniel Sancho. Picture: Getty

According to Sancho's confession, Mr Arrieta was "obsessed" with the younger man and came to his hotel room to ask to have sex with him, Spanish outlet El Pais reported.

Sancho said that he angrily rejected Mr Arrieta's advances, pushing him back. The surgeon fell and hit his head on the bath, causing the fatal wound, in Sancho's telling.

He said he then decided to get rid of the body by chopping it up and dropping it off in bags around the island.

But a local police chief said that Sancho was spotted buying a knife, bin bags and cleaning products before Mr Arrieta's death - implying that the killing was planned.

Sancho also bought a kayak for about £785 and dumped some of Mr Arrieta's remains at sea.

Victim Edwin Arrieta Arteaga
Victim Edwin Arrieta Arteaga. Picture: Facebook

Two days after Sancho checked out of his hotel room, a bin man made a shocking discovery that sparked the investigation - a bag containing a human pelvis and intestines.

Police searching the same rubbish dump later found another bag with human legs in it, and some clothing. DNA tests confirmed it was Mr Arrieta.

Officers linked the killing to Sancho when they found hair, blood and fat in the drain of his hotel room - despite the room itself being immaculately clean.

Sancho went to a 'Full Moon' party with two women he met on the island on the night the remains were discovered.

He only reported Mr Arrieta missing when he came home from the party and saw news reports about the gruesome find.

Sancho falsely claimed he had only come to the island the day before, on August 2.

A Thai police officer escorts Daniel Sancho Bronchalo
A Thai police officer escorts Daniel Sancho Bronchalo. Picture: Alamy

But security footage showed Sancho and Mr Arrieta riding on a motorbike in the days leading up to the killing.

Local police said that the pair had dinner on August 1, hours before he was filmed buying the knife and cleaning products.

Sancho's link to Mr Arrieta was unclear. Police said the two had a personal relationship, and some outlets have reported that they were dating.

But Sancho has denied that they were a couple, claiming instead that Mr Arrieta was "obsessed" with him.

He said: "He deceived me, he made me believe that what he wanted was to do business with me, to put money into the company in which I am a partner.

Thai police forensic officers investigate a garbage dump site looking for Mr Arrieta's body parts
Thai police forensic officers investigate a garbage dump site looking for Mr Arrieta's body parts. Picture: Alamy

"But it was all lies. The only thing he wanted was me, for me to be his boyfriend."

Sancho also claimed that Mr Arrieta would threaten him every time he tried to leave.

He led police to several sites where he was accused of leaving the remains of Mr Arrieta.

Sancho’s uncle, Felix Sancho, told journalists in Spain that "a little respect for the family is all we ask for, because this is so painful."