Death of model under mysterious circumstances grips Thailand

The mysterious death of a young woman in Thailand, whose body was found in the lobby of an apartment building, has gripped the nation and highlighted the risks women who work in the service and promotions industry face.

Police arrested a male model in connection with Thitima Noraphanpiphat’s death Wednesday after CCTV footage appeared to show him dragging her lifeless body into an elevator and leaving her on a sofa in the lobby of his Bangkok condominium.

The 25-year-old model was a product presenter and party entertainer and had been paid to serve drinks at a party on September 16 at a house outside Bangkok in Nonthaburi. Her body was found in the lobby of the main suspect’s apartment building later that night.

Thitima’s death has dominated headlines in the country, and the circumstances surrounding her final hours have become the center of intense speculation and rumor.

On Thursday, police arrested six more people who attended the party after another woman filed a complaint to police saying she was made to drink so much that she became unconscious.

The second woman, identified in police reports as “Deer,” was also hired to serve drinks at the party.

Thitima was the main breadwinner for her family, and she had wanted to send her 3-year-old daughter to a good school. Her death has sparked calls for laws to be introduced to protect those working in the industry and awareness campaigns to change attitudes surrounding their work.

The main suspect, Rachadech Wongtabutr, 24, the last person Thitima was seen alive with, was initially questioned by police but subsequently let go after denying any criminal involvement.

After posting a few pictures of Thitima on social media and the release of CCTV footage, put Rachadech under suspicion once again.

Police later arrested Rachadech after medical examiners determined the time of death meant Thitima could have already died by the time he took her to his apartment.

Rachadech was charged Wednesday with illegal detention leading to death, abduction with intent of committing an indecent act, and indecency. Police said they are investigating others who could be involved, including the hosts of the party and guests.

Suthipong, the police chief, said that Rachadech acknowledged that he took Thitima to his apartment but denies the charges, saying he thought she was just drunk and didn’t realize she had died.

A preliminary autopsy report released last week showed that the woman died from “extreme alcohol intoxication”. The findings showed she had a blood alcohol concentration of 418 milligrams per 100 milliliters. There is also speculation that Thitima has been drugged and sexually assaulted though the autopsy found no evidence of drugs in her system nor evidence of any assault

Police are hoping that the biometric data on her smartwatch to determine when she died.

Source : Various