Matthew Winder is pictured with his girlfriend, Ayla Varoxis
The girlfriend of an Australian fitness fanatic who was found dead in a Thai prison cell has shared details of their last conversation, which took place just 30 minutes before he was arrested for his drunken behaviour.
Matthew Winder, 31, was kicked out of a bar on the resort island of Phuket early Monday morning and taken into custody for drunken and disorderly conduct after allegedly yelling at hotel guests.
“He told me he had too much to drink and just wants to be home,” Ayla Varoxis told the Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday morning.
Hours later, a Thai police officer found Mr Winder dead in his cell at Patong Police Station, where he had been taken in an attempt to “calm down” him.
Local authorities claimed an officer ducked out for lunch at 11:30 a.m. He returned to find Mr. Winder dead in a scene that seemed to indicate he had committed suicide.
Thai authorities declared his death a suicide, but Ms Varoxis insisted he would not have committed suicide and that he intended to go home on Tuesday as planned.
“I think he shouldn’t have been left alone in the condition he was in,” she said.
Matthew Winder dedicated a Facebook post to his girlfriend on Sunday, the night before he died (pictured)
“I don’t believe Matty was suicidal. I spoke to him five hours before the incident. 30 minutes before he was arrested.
‘Yes, he was drunk. But he just wanted to go home. He wasn’t suicidal.’
On Sunday night, about 24 hours before he was arrested, Mr. Winder posted a video of Patong Beach on social media, captioning it: ‘Goodnight Thailand. I miss my Ayla Varoxis.’
Three days earlier, he assured his girlfriend that he couldn’t wait to fly back home to Newcastle, north of Sydney in NSW, to see her and their young daughter, McKenzie.
“Okay, you can come home now,” Ms Varoxis wrote on social media. “It’s too quiet without you and I miss my shadow way too much.”
Mr. Winder replied, “Only a few more days to go honey, I wish I was home right now xoxox love you dearly.”
Other photos and videos showed him smoking cigarettes on the beach, drinking cocktails, smoking bongs and hanging out in clubs overlooking Phuket.
Mrs. Varoxis commented, “Well deserved break. Love you and miss you.’
When Ms Varoxis spoke about his apparent suicide on Tuesday, Ms Varoxis said that “there’s malicious intent in the mix and it doesn’t make any sense.”
“He had every intention of coming home to his family… He did better than usual and everyone he loves will agree,” she added.
Friends have also lashed out at the suicide verdict, claiming there was probably much more to it.
Matthew Winder went to Thailand to get more facial tattoos. He is pictured, right, outside a tattoo parlor in Phuket
“Suicide my a***,” a friend wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
“What a joke their police are. As if he killed himself quickly in the half hour, the guard has a break. Liars.’
Another friend said, “Devastating news, I am devastated to hear this. And really believe that there is something wrong with the story.’
Local news outlets reported that police had been called to the busy Kathu district, where Mr Winder was allegedly ‘intoxicated with alcohol or drugs’.
Provincial Police Chief Sermpan Sirikhong said he was “drunk and behaving wildly” when officers handcuffed him outside an entertainment venue on Bangla Road.
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, who worked as a professional piercer, was a kind and generous man who will be sorely missed.
His body was discovered by a guard around noon on Monday (scene pictured)
“I loved him with everything I have,” she said.
Matty was a wonderful man full of love for his family and friends.
“He’d love to give you the shirt off his back… and he made everyone around him laugh.”
Thai police have confirmed that an autopsy will be performed and that an official investigation is underway.
Mr Winder’s family learned of his death through the Australian Embassy. His body will be repatriated to Australia.
For confidential 24-hour support in Australia, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.