Update: Mr. Balzer was found in Hang Dong, Chiang Mai, and confessed to the murder — my full take on the matter can be found here.
On May 5th, 2021, reports surfaced of a missing pregnant woman by the name of Ms. Pichapon Kidchob, nickname Som-O, aged 32, in Nan province. Reports vary on how far along Som-O is with her pregnancy, some say 2 months others say 4 months.
Som-O’s mother told reporters that she talked to her daughter last on May 2nd around noon. The mother sent another message at around 1:40PM to Som-O but this message was never answered. She tried contacting Som-O several times by phone, once an hour until midnight, but still no answer.
The following day on May 3rd, the mother went to Som-O’s home. She found Mr. Balzer there, the father in Som-O’s pregnancy, and asked him where her daughter was. Mr. Balzer answered Som-O’s mother in English, which she did not understand except a few words, “Som-O is not happy” and pointed to a car that the couple owned. He also said that Som-O was pregnant and rubbed his hand on his stomach, indicating that her stomach was irritated from the pregnancy.
Shortly after the exchange, Mr. Balzer set off on his offroad bike. He is believed to have gone from Nan province to Phrae.
Som-O’s mother thought Mr. Balzer was only going to get some food nearby, but he didn’t return. He left all his belongings, including clothes scattered on the floor.
Som-O’s family filed a missing person’s report with Nan city police that evening. Police examined CCTV footage near the house and saw an orange Ford pick-up truck drive from the house.
The footage also showed Mr. Balzer put a mattress and air purifier in the truck. Police later found the mattress about 10 kilometers from the family’s home. The mattress was covered in blood, which the family believes is Som-O’s.
The family believes that the two fought over the recent purchase of the offroad bike, but they were ultimately unsure what happened.
Neighbors told reporters that the couple, Som-O and Mr. Balzer, appeared to be in love. They moved into the moo-baan about 3-4 months previously. They often took evening walks together with their dogs.
However, the neighbors did report that on April 29th, they saw Som-O and Mr. Balzer fight. They heard Som-O yell “Fuck you!” to Mr. Balzer, but he did not respond. This surprised the neighbors because they never saw the two fight.
More than 40 people have been mobilized in the search for Som-O, who is still missing.
According to reports, the couple met in Phuket and had been together less than a year.
One Thai report states that Mr. Balzer arrived to Thailand in December of 2020.
Further research into Mr. Balzer’s background reveals a variety of criminal charges in the state of Colorado back in the United States.
Most recently, on December 30th, 2020, Mr. Balzer was pulled over and arrested in Mead, Colorado. Officers found 72 firearms in the vehicle. Mr. Balzer was arrested for 74 violations of a protection order, two felony counts of possession of an illegal weapon, and two counts of a dangerous weapon.
Mr. Balzer was taken to the Weld County Jail and paid bail.
This report conflicts with the timeline in Thai, but it would seem to indicate that sometime shortly after his arrest, Mr. Balzer fled Colorado to come to Thailand. After arriving, he met up with Som-O in Phuket and moved to Nan province, where her family is from.
This wasn’t Mr. Balzer’s only run in with the law.
In April 2019, he was arrested on suspicion of attempted second degree murder, felony menacing, second degree assault, third degree assault, ampering with physical evidence, criminal mischief, obstruction of telephone use, aiming a firearm at a person, criminal tampering and domestic violence.
The case involved a woman in Longmont, Colorado who called police after Mr. Balzer broke into her bedroom while she was sleeping and demanded sex.
The woman said she was tired, which angered Mr. Balzer. He took her phone, grabbed her arms, hit her face, slammed her head into the bed’s headboard five times. He then grabbed a revolver and put it to her head saying, “I will kill you.”
The woman pushed the revolver aside, and it fired, the round barely missing her head. While Mr. Balzer was covering up the bullet hole in the wall, she fled to a neighbor’s house and called police.
The woman also said Mr. Balzer had strangled her two weeks prior to this incident.
Mr. Balzer was booked into Boulder County Jail and had bond set at $100,000. Prior to this incident he had no prior criminal history, except for traffic violations.
The case resolved in December 2019 when Mr. Balzer had nearly all of the serious felony charges dropped against him, due to the victim was unable to testify against him.
Mr. Balzer was sentenced to two years of probation for one count of third-degree assault, which he pleaded guilty to.
True Crime Thailand will update this story if and when there is resolution in the disappearance of Som-O.
Video of the victim and more:
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Sources: https://www.greeleytribune.com/2021/01/01/mead-police-seize-79-firearms-following-traffic-stop/, https://www.timescall.com/2019/12/06/man-sentenced-to-probation-attempted-murder-charge-dropped-in-longmont-case/, https://www.thairath.co.th/news/local/north/2084475, https://www.amarintv.com/news/detail/78500
What’s My Take on Mr. Balzar and the disappearance of Som-O?
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