Murder most foul: infanticide in Phuket

CHALONG, PHUKET: Chalong Police are searching for a Burmese nanny they think was responsible for the murder by suffocation of a four-month-old Thai child left in her care.

Police were notified of the death at 8:30am yesterday by the boy’s mother, 32-year-old Palida Phromraksa, a native of Ao Luk District in Krabi.

When police led by Chalong Police Deputy Superintendent Narong Laksanawimon arrived at the scene, they found Mrs Palida weeping bitterly.

Entering the two-bedroom home on Soi Banklang in Chalong Village 7 they found the lifeless body of four-month old Pornprasert Phromraksa lying face-up on a bed, wearing only a soiled diaper. There were scratch marks on his left cheek.

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From the state of the body, police estimated the time of death at about one day earlier.

Mrs Palida told police that she is the owner of the Rawai Club tour company, which is very busy during high season.

In order to run the company, she employed a 32-year-old Burmese woman identified only as ‘Ple’ as a live-in nanny to care for the boy when she was away.

Mrs Palida said she had a great deal of trust in the Burmese woman, who was paid 7,000 baht a month and provided with a motorbike in exchange for her services.

Mrs Palida typically slept at the tour company offices, returning home every other night to see her son.

She arrived home as usual at around 1am on Saturday to find all the lights out.

Going to the bedroom where the child usually slept with the nanny, she found the door locked.

Not finding this unusual, she took a shower and went to sleep in the other bedroom, she told police.

Getting up the following morning, she again tried to open the door because she wanted to give the boy a hug before returning to work.

When there was no answer to her knocking, she opened the door with a key to find her child dead and the nanny missing. In a state of shock, she called police.

Phuket Forensics Police collected fingerprint samples as well as clothes belonging to Ple as evidence in the case. Chalong Police are now searching for the nanny.

From the wounds to the child’s face they have conjectured that the nanny might have lost her temper with the child and suffocated him in a fit of rage, either by placing a cloth over his nose and mouth or choking him to death.

Phuket Ruamjai Kupai Rescue Foundation volunteers took the child’s remains to Vachira Phuket Hospital for examination.

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