Mom of Man Killed in Thailand Talks

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


Nine days after a native Californian is murdered in Thailand, his devastated mother is sharing more about her son and sharing new details about the investigation.

“He was a certified diver.  He had rock-climbed, he had jumped out of helicopters. He was interesting, he was funny, he did not look for trouble. But if he found it he would not back down,” said Robin Sommers.

Sommers is a mother remembering the vibrant life of a son who lost that life on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand.

Troy Pilkington argued with his cabbie about a fare he thought was inflated.

And, as surveillance images indicate and cabbie Cherdchai Utmacha has admitted, Pilkington was hacked to death with a machete to end that fight.

While some reports state the California native – who once lived in Pioneer – threw coffee at the cabbie, Pilkington’s mother says the investigation shows that is not true.

“The driver’s shirt was dry. The inside of the taxi was dry. And I don’t think anyone would put up with being deliberately over-charged ,” said Sommers.

Family members have now set up a Facebook page to remember the man they called “Chip,” who was supporting his Thai bride’s extended family with his job as a senior official for caterpillar Thailand.

They’re also using the page to ask people to press their federal politicians, so that the U.S. government stands up for Pilkington.

“So that we can keep this man in jail, because a lot of times they are able to buy their way out of it,” Sommers said.

Pilkington’s sister is now en route back to the states with his ashes, which were cremated at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok.

“I think he was just standing up for himself, but I wish in this case he would have walked away,” said Sommers.

Utmacha remains jailed in connection with this killing.

Pilkington’s sister is due to arrive in the U.S. with his ashes Tuesday. Family members are planning to scatter them in Alaska at a river where he loved to fish.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.