Police arrest American sought for killing 19-year-old Thai girlfriend


The American teacher wanted for allegedly killing his Buriram girlfriend has been captured in Issan, more than three months after allegedly stuffing her body into a garbage bag and leaving it atop a South Pattaya restaurant.

Steven Timothy Rowe, 48, was captured by Chonburi and Udon Thani police in the northeastern town of Makkhaeng June 7. Police found on him a passport belonging to 19-year-old Anusra Paja, who disappeared from her room above the Sita Lanna hair-extension shop near Tukcom Feb. 15.

Steven Timothy Rowe has been arrested in connection with the murder of 19-year-old Anusra Paja.Steven Timothy Rowe has been arrested in connection with the murder of 19-year-old Anusra Paja.

Rowe was charged with murder and hiding Anusra’s body, which was discovered March 19 by restaurant owner Virawan Yiewsae, 40, while investigating the smell.

Pattaya Police said the girl was reported missing failing to join a group of friends on a February trip to Koh Larn. Anusra had gone back to her apartment to get clothing, but her boyfriend was waiting for her outside the room.

Aunt Dao Bunsawat told police that Anusra had been seeing Rowe for several months, but recently had begun distancing herself and seeing other men. This, she claimed, enraged the American man more than twice her age, causing numerous serious fights.

Police alleged that Rowe killed the teen after having sex by knocking her out then taping her mouth with purple tape and tying her into a blanket with a belt before stuffing her in the garbage bag. He then went out a window and over a low wall to hide the girl on the restaurant’s roof, where she likely suffocated to death, the police chief claimed.

Investigators said last week that Rowe had then quit his job as a teacher at English and Computer College in Bangkok and had wandered around Thailand before being caught in Udon Thani.