Saraburi: Four men have been arrested and charged with raping and killing a 24-year-old waitress who was found hanged from a doorknob in her room.
Atipat Apinyakul, 23, who was the victim’s boyfriend, Santi Thipmol,23, Supakorn Sopa, 23, and Nanthaporn Boonmak, 23, were nabbed yesterday morning, hours after the Saraburi provincial court approved warrants for their arrest.
According to police sources, Mr Atipat is a son of a police officer, Mr Nanthaporn is a son of a school director, and Mr Supakorn is the son of a village headman.
They were initially charged with gang rape, colluding to murder, and concealing a body.
All denied the charges. Police believe the suspects staged the hanging to make it look like a suicide.
The arrests came after Somporn Pumpong, father of victim Nisakorn, lodged a petition with the Royal Thai Police demanding close supervision of the investigation by local police into his daughter’s death.
Nisakorn was found dead in her rented room in Saraburi’s Nong Khae district on Aug 13.
A charger cable was wrapped around her neck, with one end tied around the door handle.
According to Mr Somporn, local police told the family she was likely to have committed suicide but the family suspected foul play. Prior to her death, she was seen with her boyfriend, Mr Atipat, and three other men, at her house.
After the petition was lodged with the Royal Thai Police and the results of DNA tests came back, deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul ordered the Nong Khae police chief to speed up the investigation.
The DNA samples collected from the scene matched that of Mr Nanthaporn.
They were collected from the charger cable and the victim’s fingernails.
Speaking after questioning the suspects, Pol Gen Srivara said yesterday police had forensic evidence and statements from 25 witnesses to back up the warrants.
He said the investigators had a theory that the victim was killed to cover up the alleged gang rape.
Pol Gen Srivara said he was aware of the suspects’ wealth and possible influence and instructed the Saraburi provincial police office to make sure the case was not tampered with.
Police will oppose bail for all suspects. He said he has ordered a change in the investigation team to ensure justice and help the victim’s parents feel comfortable.
He said police will ask the Saraburi provincial court today to further detain the suspects for questioning.
Ronnarong Kaewpetch, the legal adviser of the victim’s father, said the family was waiting for the results of further forensic tests.
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