NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 8/16/2010 3:15:43 PM ET 2010-08-16T19:15:43

A manhunt was underway on a Thai island for a British kickboxer who allegedly picked a fight with an American tourist at a bar, followed him back to his hotel and stabbed him to death.

The body of Dashawn Longfellow, 23, a former Marine who was awarded the Purple Heart, was found before dawn Saturday at the Yanui Paradise Resort on the island of Phuket with several stab wounds in his chest, said police Lt. Col. Anukul Nuket.

Longfellow was on vacation, recovering from an injury sustained in Afghanistan, when he was killed, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported.

Witnesses told the Pattaya Daily News that kickboxer and bar regular Lee Aldhouse came to blows with Longfellow at the Freedom Bar, after Aldhouse blocked the entrance to the bathroom.  After that incident, the report continued, bar staff broke up the fight, and Longfellow left with his Thai girlfriend.

Story: Thai slaying: Briton, American both drawn to kickboxing

The Briton is believed to have followed the couple back to their hotel, where Longfellow dropped off his girlfriend and went out to a convenience store, Anukul said.

When Longfellow returned, the Briton was allegedly waiting for him outside his room. A fight ensued and Longfellow was stabbed, according to Anukul.

'Getting drunk and picking fights'
Police have issued an arrest warrant for Aldhouse, who is originally from Solihull, England, NBC News reported.

Aldhouse, who trained in Thai kickboxing or Muay Thai, was known for "getting drunk and picking fights and bragging that he's invincible," Anukul told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Authorities believe Aldhouse is still in Phuket, NBC News reported. Police have set up checkpoints in and out of Phuket.

Longfellow had served in the Marines and was a machine gunner for the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Matt Gronbach, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, who was in the same unit with Longfellow, said.

'Caring and loving'
"Dashawn was a caring and loving person. One of the nicest guys you could ever be around. Great friend, brother and son. He was just a huge teddy bear that everyone loved," Gronbach said in an e-mail to the AP.

Longfellow's passport said he was originally from Littleton, Colorado, police said. Oklahoma City TV station KOCO reported that Longfellow was from Norman, Okla., and that he had received a Purple Heart for his service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"He accomplished a lot, he said. He mastered every test they gave him. He worked his hardest and he did the best he could," the victim's mother, Tammy Longfellow, told KOCO. "He was very competitive. He always wants to win, and that's what he did."

Longfellow added that her son joined the U.S. Marine Corps after his 2005 graduation from Norman High School, intent on seeing the world, and that he had recently traveled to Thailand to work on his martial arts skills.

Police in Phuket said Longfellow's body was at the Vachira Phuket Hospital, NBC News reported.

Longfellow's mother was working with the U.S. Embassy in Thailand to arrange for her son's remains to be returned to the United States, the KOCO report said.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Manhunt for kickboxer in Marine's death

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments