Tuesday, 21 June 2016

6/21/2016 05:45:00 pm
The 35-year-old had not been seen since May 14 but now his family's worst fears have came true after his body was identified by a distinctive tattoo.

Tragic Scots dad Steve Balfour with his ex-wife Nan

THE body of missing Scot Steve Balfour has been found in a police morgue in Thailand.

Steve, whose ex-wife Nan is Thai, was last seen on May 14 at a bar in the busy resort of Pattaya. His body was identified by a distinctive tattoo.

A 22-year-old vice worker from the area’s infamous Walking Street has been questioned by police.

Steve, who was on leave from his job as a security consultant in Iraq, was visiting his estranged Thai wife and six-year-old daughter, Georgina.

The 35-year-old split from wife Nan Kidaw in a bitter divorce last year. The former soldier was found dead in a room above a bar in the red light area on May 15.

His wallet was missing and he had no other identification on him so he was taken to a police mortuary in Bangkok as an unidentified foreigner.

But questions were raised in Pattaya over the weekend after The Daily Record highlighted his disappearance and the British Embassy got involved.

Local police then linked the discovery of the body with Steve’s disappearance. They later identified him by the tattoo of Georgina’s name on his forearm.

Steve’s heartbroken parents Archie and Anne, from Rosyth, were last night coming to terms with the tragic news but were still seeking answers.

Archie, who served alongside his son in the Royal Scots, said: “From what we have heard we’re certain it’s Steve – who else would have exactly the same tattoo of Georgina’s name on their arm. But we still don’t know what happened to him.”

“He always went out with his wallet with bank and ID cards in it, and that wasn’t with him when he was found.

The busy Walking Street area in Pattaya where Steve had been staying

“He was also very fit to do his job and play golf a few times each week so it is unlikely to be a medical matter. There are lots of questions for the police to answer.”

A source in Thailand claimed Steve died in a room above Sweethearts – a popular gogo bar on Walking Street. They said the discovery of the body was was covered by local newspaper Pattaya One last month.

The report told how an unnamed tourist “died during a rendezvous with an unnamed ladyboy”. It claimed authorities were alerted to the death at around 5am on Sunday, May 15.

The paper said officers found the naked body of a Western male lying on the floor. It added that “also present was a 22-year-old ladyboy from Buriram who told investigators the couple had met earlier on Walking Street and had agreed a fee of 3000 baht – £60”.

Officers told the paper the victim “probably tripped due to his intoxicated state causing him to injure himself”.

Steve Balfour with his wife Nan and daughter Georgina.

They asked for an autopsy “to determine the exact cause of death before questioning the ladyboy further”.

The incident is still being investigated. Steve, who has two younger brothers, Mark and Kriss, served in the Royal Scots until 2010.

He then started work with security firm Olive Group and was due back on duty last week.

Steve was working as a bodyguard in Basra. Every leave he returned to Thailand to spend time with Georgina and always stayed in the Baan Tong Tong resort, in the Nong Yai area of Pattaya.

Manager Mike Williams searched Steve’s room after he vanished and found his passport and other possessions untouched. A former police officer from Australia, Mike works part-time with the Thai Police.

Sweetheart Bar and Hotel in Pattaya where Steve was found

He said: “The police have worked hard on this and they are extremely confident this is Steve – the tattoo is very distinctive.

“The protocol over here whenever any foreigner passes away in Thailand, be that in an accident, as a result of a medical condition or something suspicious, is that they are moved to the police hospital in Bangkok.

“A decision is then made by the family and embassy as to what to do next.”

Steve’s best friend in Thailand, former Scots Guard Malcolm Farquharson had been searching for him for two weeks.

Archie Balfour's worst fears have been confirmed after his son's body was found

He said: “Steve had been missing for two weeks when I got back onshore. I couldn’t believe that nothing had really been done.

“I took his photo everywhere, to the bars and golf clubs we used, but the last anyone saw of him was on the night of May 14.”

On Saturday we told how when talking about his Thai family Steve allegedly told close friend Caroline Steel that is he came to harm in Thailand his ex-wife would be behind it.

Caroline, 36, from North Berwick, said: “I definitely remember a conversation when he said that if anything ever happened to him during a visit to Thailand then it was her that’s done it.”

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