“THERE is allegedly a photo that shows my brother’s dead body being pulled out of the sea with his hands tied – that proves he was murdered and I won’t rest until I find out who is responsible and bring them to justice.”
These are the words of Richard Apperley, whose brother Andrew, 38, was found dead after attending a Full Moon party in Kho Phangan, Thailand.
The brothers, both property letting agents, were born and raised in Ebley and attended Marling School, and their mum Linda still lives leaves in Sheepscombe.
Richard, 41, is anxious that the investigation into his brother’s death is handed from Thai police to Interpol.
He said: “The Thai police won’t investigate it properly, they’re trying to protect their tourism trade.
“I’ve had messages from 20 people who have had loved ones die while in Thailand and they have told me about similar bad experiences they have had with the Thai police.
“There is CCTV at each of the ports to and from the island Andrew was on, I want that looked at, and all videos taken at the party – it needs to be examined with facial recognition software.
“I’d do it all myself and spend the next six months doing it but I don’t have the technology.
“You have to ask yourself, what would you do in this situation if it was your brother? I can’t bring him back but I can bring the people to justice.
“My mum lost her husband just over three years ago and now she has lost her youngest son – I’m all she has left.
“I can’t rest until we have answers, I need to know what happened, I’ve been up for four days since the news.”
Andrew is survived by his wife Magda and their daughter Helena, six, who he was living with in Gloucester.
Richard told the SNJ: “It’s heart-breaking that her dad is not coming home, I’ll help in any way I can, it’s an absolute mess and it only looks more and more sinister the more it drags on.
“It’s just crazy that I’ve been able to do more from here just through social media than the police, and there is evidence they should have – because I’ve been able to get it.
“They should be able to trace Andrew’s last texts, which were sent to an Australian friend of his out there.
“I’m a loose cannon but I get things done, he’s my little brother and I’ll do anything it takes, even raise hell outside parliament, just to get to the bottom of this.”
Father-of-three Richard intends to head to Thailand in the next few days to investigate himself, and says he has been told that Thai officials may embalm Andrew’s body which could destroy forensic evidence.
Richard has issued a warning to those planning to visit Thailand and the Ko Phangan Full Moon party, saying they should avoid it and not let their children go if they value their safety.
Andrew was last seen on Sunday, February 12. His body was found a week later.
Gloucestershire Constabulary and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are in talks with Thai police over the investigation into his death.