100 police deployed to reservoir in the hunt for killer cop in South Thailand

Police hunt for killer cop at Dam, photo by Supapong Chaolan, Bangkok Post.

There’s been a new development in the case around the cop in South Thailand who killed several of his family members, including his wife and son. The killer cop, 46 year old Pol. Snr. Sgt. Maj. Atthaporn Wichian, killed six people in Surat Thani province last week, including his wife, son, and father-in-law. Police have been on the prowl for him.

Yesterday, more than 100 police investigators and special task force officers deployed to the Ratchaprapa dam area in Ban Ta Khun district, Bangkok Post reported last night.

Police obtained clues indicating that Atthaporn was hiding in the area, leading officers to search the reservoir and nearby forest in Khao Phang sub-district. Checkpoints were set up along all roads and forest paths leading to the dam, a popular tourist attraction.

Officers searched for the suspect at accommodations at the dam and nearby areas. The Surat Thani provincial court has approved two more arrest warrants for Atthaporn for killing his son and his wife, Panid. An earlier warrant sought his arrest on charges of murder, illegal possession of weapons, and carrying firearms and ammunition in public areas without a sound reason.

Atthaporn led a group of heavily armed men to storm his father-in-law’s house of his father-in-law, Thammarong Nilniyom, in Khirirat Nikhom on April 8. Four people were killed, including Thammarong and his wife, Nilthip Palakachen, as well as Pornsak Phetchu and Thammarat Wichian, one of the attackers. Atthaporn’s son, Atthapol Wichian, 25, and his new wife, Panida Nilniyom, 34, were later found shot dead.

Atthapol, who was involved in the first attack, was found dead inside a car parked at a temple in Ban Ta Khun where funeral rites for his uncle Thammarat were being held on April 9. Panida was found dead at a resort in tambon Tha Khanon of Khirirat Nikhom district on the following day.

Police later arrested another suspect, 57 year old Manop Wang-ngan, in Thap Put district of Phangnga province and confessed to being involved in the attack.

Authorities believe that a feud between Atthaporn and his father-in-law was the motive for the attack. Thammarong reportedly disliked Atthaporn and tried to break up their marriage, causing bad blood between the pair.

Surat Thani police chief Pol Maj Gen Saranyu Chamnarnrat and Surat Thani governor Witchawut Jinto met with local leaders in Khirirat Nikhom, Ban Ta Khun, and Phanom districts to seek cooperation in providing clues about the suspect.

Crime NewsSouth Thailand News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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