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Suspect arrested in Korat murder of 29 year old mother

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Kapook

Police in Isaan’s Nakhon Ratchasima province yesterday arrested an air-conditioning repairman for the murder of a 29 year old mother, the Thai wife of a Singaporean businessman at her house in the central city district. Police found 26 year old Theeraphol Duangkrathok, of Chaiyaphum province, hiding in a rough shelter in a paddy field in the province’s Nong Bunmak district.

The suspect reportedly confessed to having killed Natrika Shibahara at her 2 storey house in Muang district of the northeastern province on Tuesday. She was was found dead on her bed in the second floor bedroom with her throat slit. Police say the room had been ransacked. They believe she died at least 3 hours before she was found.

Shibahara lived in the house with her 6 year old daughter. Her husband visited sometimes from Singapore and regularly sent money to her. The daughter was at school and the woman was alone on Tuesday when she was attacked. When nobody picked the daughter up from school, a teacher took her home. The teacher knocked on the front door and called out. When there was no response, the teacher tried the door. It was unlocked and she went inside, and soon found the murdered woman’s body.

The deputy chief of Provincial Police Region 3 announced Theeraphol’s arrest on yesterday. The suspect reportedly told police he worked at an air-conditioning repair shop near the victim’s home. He had cleaned her air-conditioner 4-5 times. On Tuesday, he says, he went to her house on the pretext he had left some tools there.

When she opened the door, he threatened her with a knife and demanded cash and other valuables. He then forced her to go to her bedroom, because he wanted to search it for the cash and valuables he believed were kept there, according to police. Shibahara insisted she kept no money in the house.

The suspect allegedly demanded she transfer money to his bank account, and she deposited 10,000 baht as he ordered. Then she saw a neighbour walking in front of her house and shouted for help. He responded by cutting her throat to silence her, then stole her car keys and her mobile phone and fled.

Theeraphol said the dwindling number of clients at the air-conditioning shop led him to decide to rob her. He had personal financial problems and he never intended to kill her. He was later taken for a crime re-enactment, an important part of the Thai justice system, required in order to achieve a guilty verdict.

Police are pressing an initial charge of murder, and are compiling evidence for additional charges, including theft. Theerapol had a criminal record, having been arrested 4 times previously, for theft, physical assault and drug abuse.

Suspect arrested in Korat murder of 29 year old mother | News by Thaiger

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    rinky stingpiece

    Friday, August 14, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Shibahara sounds like a Japanese surname, not a typical Singaporean one.

  2. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Friday, August 14, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Give him the maximum penalty.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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