A 30-year-old man released from jail just three months ago is being sought after a furniture worker was murdered and his dead body incinerated in a torched car in Prachantakham district in the early hours of Tuesday.
The murder happened at a house in tambon Pho Ngam, said Pol Capt Sombat Wangwon, duty officer at Prachantakham police station, and was reported about 3.50am.
The killer put the body inside the victim’s own car and drove off before police arrived. Other police stations were then alerted to look for and stop the vehicle.
While still at the murder scene, police were informed the car had been found on fire on Prachantakham-Dong Chaiman road in tambon Prachantakham, not far from the house.
Emergency units rushed to the scene found the vehicle engulfed in flames. Fire trucks and crews doused the fire.
Inside, on the back seat, was the fire blackened body of a man, identified later as Sophon Sotrakan, 48. The vehicle had a Pattani licence plate registered in the victim’s name.
Songpot Fankhamdaeng, 54, owner of the house where the murder occurred, told police he was drinking with his nephew Sittichai Meesuk, 30, before the murder. It was late and he went to bed, leaving Sittichai to drink alone.
When he arose early Tuesday morning he found Sophon, an employee at his daughter’s furniture factory, dead on the couch with slash wounds to his throat. Sittichai was sitting nearby.
Mr Songpot said he asked his nephew if he had killed the man. Sitthichai allegedly replied Sophon had scolded him, and that drove him to lose his temper. He grabbed a knife and slashed the man’s throat in a fit of anger. The uncle said his nephew then threatened to kill him if he told police.
The suspect then put Sophon’s body inside the car, and drove away.
Police said Sittichai had been convicted on drugs and robbery charges. He had served about 10 years in prison and was released in December last year.