No justice for victim: Suspect in kidnapping, rape, and murder walked free on technicality
Doi Saket Police Station revealed they could not arrest a serial sex offender who later went on to kidnap, rape, and murder a woman because it was a public holiday and the court was closed. The case involving the murder of a 36 year old car showroom saleswoman known as “Aom” has gathered significant attention.
Aom, who worked at a dealership near the Kad Sam Yai intersection in San Sai District, Chiang Mai, was tricked and killed by 40 year old Nathapol Panpadungsap. It is said that the man pretended to be a customer interested in purchasing a car before leading her to her death, and then he dumped her body in a hotel in the area of San Pee Sua, Muang Chiang Mai. The police managed to arrest him soon after.
A check on Nathapol’s background revealed that on April 10, he had forcibly coerced an 18 year old woman with a knife. The victim and her guardian filed a complaint at Doi Saket Police Station but the authorities had not yet apprehended him, leading to widespread criticism.
On May 1, the Doi Saket Police Station in Chiang Mai posted an explanation on their Facebook page regarding the case, stating the following:
The incident occurred on April 10 around 7.30pm. An investigator received a report from the victim, prompting the police investigation team to gather initial information and search for witnesses and evidence. The victim was then taken to Doi Saket Hospital for examination and asked to meet again with the police on the morning of April 11 for an assessment of the crime scene.
On April 11, the victim and her relatives met with the investigation officers and went to the crime scene, which ranged from Ton Pao Pattana intersection in San Kamphang District to the Mae Kuang Dam area in Doi Saket District. The police located evidence and identified the suspect on the same day, which was confirmed by the victim who recognised the assailant’s face.
The police visited Nathapol’s residence and workplace to apprehend him, and he later contacted the authorities to inform them that he and his lawyer would surrender at the investigation office. On April 17, around 10am, Nathapol surrendered to the investigator and was informed of the charges against him. He was questioned but could not be held in custody according to the law, since the day he surrendered was a public holiday and the court was closed.
Doi Saket Police Station officers put in considerable effort and attention to apprehending the suspect within a week, ensuring the case proceeded fairly and promptly for both parties. They followed all legal procedures and regulations in handling the case. They are now awaiting the results of the victim’s post-mortem examination and a background check on the suspect to further support the case. The police have requested the public to exercise discretion while following the news and understanding the role and duties of law enforcement officers.
The timeline of events surrounding Aom’s murder has been traced, from her abduction and brutal killing to the discovery of her body in the hotel.
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