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Used-car dealer, entire family dead in mass suicide



PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

A used car dealer and his entire family in the northern province of Phitsanulok have been found dead, in an apparent mass suicide. Even the family dogs were not spared. The family were found asphyxiated, with a lit charcoal stove in the room. Police were called yesterday after relatives found the bodies. There were five dead people and six dogs in a bedroom, and a still-warm charcoal stove.

The victims were identified as Kanthaphon Paenwong, owner of Kanthaphon Auto car tent; his mother Sunisa Paenwong; his elder sister Suthiporn Paenwpong; his wife Yodkhwan Paenwong and their 13-year-old son Rachatha.

Kanthapong reportedly had debts of over 10 million baht. Two notes, dated February 12 and 16, were found in a mobile phone belonging to one of the victims. Police say the notes were about money the family owed in order to remain in business. They had tried everything they could, but to no avail, the notes said. They were “at a deadlock.”

Used-car dealer, entire family dead in mass suicide | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Two notes, dated Feb 12 and 16, were found in a mobile phone belonging to one of the victims of the apparent suicide – Chiang Rai Times

A source says it appeared the five family members took tranquilizer pills and placed the charcoal stove inside the bedroom.

The Bangkok Post reports that a relative told police he had been in contact with the family at around 11pm Wednesday, but had been unable to raise them since.

He became worried and yesterday he and other family members went to the house to find the door locked. He asked his nephew to climb through a window and open the door. All the rooms inside the home were open, except for one bedroom, which was locked. The relative said they forced open the door and found the family and their dogs dead inside.

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If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Bangkok Post


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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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