Who Is Jason Matthew Balzer? U.S. Citizen Confesses to Killing Wife, Burying Her In Thai Woods

U.S. citizen Jason Matthew Balzer, 32, was arrested in Thailand Thursday and confessed to killing his three-month pregnant wife, a Thai citizen, and burying her body in the woods near their home.

Balzer lived with his wife, Pitchaporn Kidchob, 32, in the city of Nan before he said he stabbed her with a knife in a fit of rage when she tried to chase him out of their home. He said he didn't know Pitchaporn was pregnant.

The American faces a murder charge and said his wife had "given him hope," which prompted him to marry her and buy her the house they lived in, according to Maj. Gen. Weerachon Boontawee, the chief of Provincial Police Region 5′s Detective Department.

Police in Thailand interrogated Balzer on Friday and the maximum penalty of the murder charge against him is death.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Policemen in Thailand
Thai policemen stand guard at the entrance of a police station in Bangkok on January 7, 2021, awaiting the arrival of 13 anti-government protestors to face charges involving section 112, lese majeste laws. Authorities in Thailand arrested U.S. citizen Jason Matthew Balzer on Thursday who admitted to murdering his Thai wife and burying her body, the Associated Press reported. Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images

It was unclear if Balzer had a lawyer representing him. Balzer's last known residence in the U.S. was in Longmont, Colorado.

Weerachon said Balzer put her body in a rubbish bin that he sealed and buried in the woods about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from their home. Balzer then drove on a motorbike to Chiang Mai, where he was arrested, Weerachon said.

Police had been alerted to a possible crime when Pitchaporn's mother, who was unable to reach her daughter by phone, went to the couple's house and found bloodstains.

Balzer, a programmer, met Pitchaporn in Thailand in 2017 and they were married in the U.S., after which Balzer quit his job, sold all his property and moved to Nan, the newspaper Thai Rath reported, citing Provincial Police Region 5 commander Prachuab Wongsuk.

According to media reports from Colorado, Balzer has been in previous legal trouble.

The Boulder Daily Camera reported that Balzer in December 2019 pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree assault in Boulder District Court and was sentenced to two years of probation. It said he had originally been charged with attempted murder and six related charges, but his victim would not testify in court.

The Greeley Tribune reported that Balzer and a second man were stopped by police on Dec. 30 last year in the town of Mead for a possible traffic violation, and were found to be transporting 72 guns.

Balzer was arrested for 74 violations of a protection order, two felony counts of possession of an illegal weapon and two counts of possession of a dangerous weapon, the report said. He was released from custody after posting bail, it said.

Jason Matthew Balzer
In this Thursday, May 6, 2021, photo released by the Thai Provincial Police Region 5, police arrest and interrogate American citizen Jason Matthew Balzer, center, in Chiang Mai province northern Thailand before charging him for intentionally murdering his pregnant wife in Nan province. Uncredited/Thai Provincial Police Region 5 via AP