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Thais identify headless corpse as Italian

THAI authorities said yesterday that they have identified the body of an Italian tourist who apparently decapitated himself by jumping off a bridge with a noose around his neck.

Billed as the case of the headless foreigner, the mystery of the dead man enthralled the Thai media in recent days.

Clues had trickled in since Sunday's gruesome discovery of the 52-year-old man's head hanging by a rope from Rama VIII bridge in what is believed to be a suicide, Thai and Italian officials said.

His headless body was found floating nearby in Bangkok's Chao Phraya river and authorities confirmed a match.

Forensics experts found that the body showed no sign of assault and the "force of gravity" likely separated the body and head, said deputy police commissioner Jongrak Jutanont.

"We have no evidence that suggested it was a murder," Jongrak said.

The unusual death near Bangkok's main backpacker district instantly became a front-page story in Thai newspapers. Media speculated that the death resembled a Russian mob-style execution.

The Italian Embassy said that their investigation corroborated the suicide theory.

"The first impression that we got, an Italian head attached by a rope to a bridge, we thought it was a mafia-type warning," said Andrea Vitalone, the embassy's police commissioner.

"Our analysis confirms that it is possible that it was a suicide. We are still investigating," he said.

The man was identified as Tosadori Maurizio of Verona who was visiting Bangkok, said Vitalone, adding that he had no criminal record in Italy but appeared to be in financial trouble.

A number of clues helped police determine that the man was an Italian national.


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