EXCLUSIVE: Mystery surrounds the death of Australian tourist, 31, found dead in a Thai jail cell – as his devastated girlfriend dismisses police theory and insists ‘there’s foul play in the mix’
- Australian tourist found dead in jail after arrest in Thailand
- Matthew Winder was arrested Monday for public intoxication
- The 31-year-old’s cause of death is believed to be suicide
- His partner urged police to investigate foul play
An Australian tourist has been found dead in a prison cell in Thailand, with local police ruling the case a suicide – but his heartbroken girlfriend says that’s just not right.
Matthew Winder, 31, visited the holiday island of Phuket on a five-day trip to expand his range of facial tattoos and was due to return to Australia on Tuesday.
But he was arrested for being “drunk and disorderly” in the early hours of Monday morning after reports emerged that a “foreigner” had been kicked out of a bar and started yelling at hotel guests near Patong Beach.
He was taken to Patong police station around 5:45 am and put in solitary confinement to ‘calm down’.
A few hours later, around noon, his body was discovered by a guard.
Mr Winder’s heartbroken partner, Ayla Varoxis, told Daily Mail Australia that loved ones are struggling to believe the police’s official account and suspect something more sinister is at play.
Australian man Matthew Winder (pictured with partner Ayla Veroxis) was found dead in a police cell in Phuket
Winder, 31, was taken to Patong police station around 5:45 a.m. and placed in solitary confinement to “calm down.” Several hours later, around noon, his body (pictured as he was placed in a vehicle) was discovered by a security guard
“Dirty playing is in the mix and it all makes no sense,” she said.
“He had every intention of coming home to his family…he was doing better than usual and everyone he loves will agree.”
Several news outlets in Thailand reported that police had been called to the busy Kathu district, where Mr Winder was allegedly found ‘intoxicated with alcohol or drugs’.
Provincial Police Chief Sermpan Sirikhong claimed the Australian was “drunk and behaving wildly” when officers handcuffed him outside an entertainment venue on Bangla Road, the bangkok Post reported.
It is clear that Mr. Winder was under surveillance while in solitary confinement until the duty officer left for lunch at 11:30 am.
He made the grim discovery when he returned to his post 30 minutes later.
Authorities claim there are CCTV footage showing Mr Winder’s cause of death, but the claims have yet to be verified.
Ms. Varoxis said her caring partner was a kind and generous man who will be sorely missed.
“I loved him with everything I have,” she said.
Matty had a lion’s heart. He was fierce, protective and strong.
“He’d love to give you the shirt off his back… and he made everyone around him laugh.”
Mr Winder’s shocked and heartbroken partner, Ayla Varoxis, revealed to Daily Mail Australia that loved ones are struggling to believe the official police account and suspect something more sinister (pictured together)
Thai police say the 31-year-old took his own life when the duty officer took a lunch break and left the Australian man unattended
His body has been taken for an autopsy and Thai police confirm that an investigation into his death is now underway.
The Australian Embassy was alerted after the tragic news and notified his family.
The embassy is now working to organize the return of his body to Australia.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for comment.
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