Car saleswoman brutally raped and murdered in Thailand, family demands death penalty

Photo via ThaiRath

The family of a young used car saleswoman who was brutally raped and murdered in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, on Saturday is calling for the serial rapist responsible to be punished with the death penalty.

Police arrested a 40 year old suspect, Nathapol Panpadungsap, in Mueang district at 3.30pm on Sunday. He has a long criminal history and was most recently released on bail on April 10 after allegedly kidnapping and raping an 18 year old woman.

On Saturday, Nataphol pretended to be a customer interested in buying a second-hand car to lure in his 35 year old victim Yodying (“Aom”). He met Aom at a cafe near her company in the San Sai district at 3pm. At the cafe, Nataphol bought coffee and looked at a car quotation document. Then, Aom got into Nataphol’s Toyota pickup truck.

Officers from San Sai Police Station said that Nataphol confessed to taking Aom to a motel where he raped and killed her. Then, he checked into another motel, took Aom’s body with him, and called his girlfriend to pick him up.

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Police found Aom’s body in the hotel room on Saturday. Police said the back of her head was smashed in with a hammer and she had been strangled.

The accused told the police that after murdering Aom, he tried to rape a member of the motel staff. He attempted to lure the woman into the room by telling her the TV was broken. When she sent a male member of staff to take a look, Nathapol did not allow him to enter the room.

During interrogation, Nathapol made it known that he has a taste for women with glasses and likes to coerce women. Nataphol told the police that after raping Aom, he hit her head with a solid object and strangled her with a rope until she died.

The accused’s urine tested negative for drugs however Nataphol did inform the police that he had been drinking for several days.

Police detailed all the times that Nathapol committed several crimes before:

  • On December 24, 2010, Nathapol was charged by Tha Phra Police Station in Bangkok with raping his spouse. An arrest warrant was issued and he was prosecuted for the crime.
  • In 2013, Nathapol was charged with theft at night in Fang district, Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. An arrest warrant was issued by Thonburi Criminal Court which he evaded.
  • In 2018, Nathapol used Facebook to deceive a young woman and then used a gun to rape her at a motel near Chang Phueak Police Station, Chiang Mai, Thailand. He was arrested and imprisoned for the crime. He was released from prison in 2022.
  • As recently as April 10, 2023, the accused was charged at Doi Saket Police Station with coercion, rape, indecent acts and imprisoning an 18 year old woman on the ridge at Mae Kuang Udom Thara Dam in Chiang Mai. He stopped at an intersection, lured an 18 year old vendor into his car, tied up her wrists with a cable tie, took her to the ridge, raped her and filmed the crime.

Despite his heinous and brutal crime, Nathapol was released on bail “because he acknowledged the charges and wasn’t considered a flight risk.” A decision which allowed him to go out and commit the rape and murder of Aom on April 29.

Police found a rope cable tie that Nathapol used to tie up his victims’ hands and prevent them from resisting or escaping.

Initially, police charged Nataphol with murder by imprisonment by imprisonment, escorting the imprisoned for indecent acts or acts of violence, and concealing a corpse.

When Aom was missing, her relatives vowed they would bring a pig’s head and offerings to the Bhrama Shrine in front of San Sai Police Station if Aom was found. Yesterday, after Aom’s body was discovered, the family fulfilled their vow at the shrine.

Aom’s mother revealed that the whole family is grieving and angry. She said there is absolutely no way she and the family can forgive the accused for his brutal actions against Aom. She said the family will call for Nathaphol to be sentenced to death.

She said that Aom was a good-hearted person who liked to help others. She said that her daughter never met Nathaphol before and says her daughter was tricked and coerced. She said no one had anything against her daughter.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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