The deceased was identified as Fred Riley, the 60-year-old owner of two local bars, said Udon Thani police chief Kowit Charoenwatanasak. His body was found at the back of his house.
A medical examination revealed that the man had been knifed several times and had been dead for more than five hours when he was discovered, Pol Col Kowit said.
A 30-metre-long blood trail suggests that the victim had been dragged through the front door and inside his house.
The police chief said officers found the dead man's wristwatch, ring and identification card. However, his wallet was missing.
A witness who lives across the street from Riley said he went to the man's home after he saw that its front door was left open. He then discovered the body and contacted the police.
A preliminary investigation revealed that Riley was a wealthy man who often carried around a lot of cash, which suggested that the motive behind the murder was robbery, said Pol Col Kowit.
As well, the officer said, Riley had been robbed before and as a result he often hid his earnings in his shoes before he drove home. One of Riley's shoes was off when the body was found.
Police believe there are two suspects and were checking nearby security cameras for further leads.