Connect with us


Murdered Wanphen cremated in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The body of slain bar hostess Wanphen Pienjai was cremated at a small ceremony at Wat Kitti Sangkaram (Wat Kata) at noon today.

The simple ceremony was attended by about 10 friends and relatives of the deceased, whose remains were discovered stuffed into a suitcase in a remote area off Chao Fa Thani Rd in Wichit on the morning of June 24.

Her killer, who police believe to be a Caucasian expat still on the island, remains at-large despite the most intensive police manhunt in Phuket in recent years.

Among those taking part in the ceremony was the late Wanphen’s cousin, Sangwan Paisan, who works as a maid at the Karon Municipality offices.

We grew up together in a village in Petchaboon…I saw on TV that they found the body of a naked woman. They kept repeating images of her shoes. I knew she had gone missing and I prayed for it not to be her. It was so hard for me to have to tell her mom she wasn’t with us anymore,” she said.

I think the suspect is still here in Phuket, but I understand that it may be difficult to find him. I hope that police can arrest him, or maybe that he turns himself in,” she said.

There are many things I would like to say to her. I hope she rests in peace and has no pain in the next life,” Ms Sangwan added.

The body of Ms Wanphen was brought to the temple from Vachira Phuket Hospital yesterday following an autopsy and forensics exam that police hope will yield DNA evidence of the person who killed her.

Ms Wanphen’s mother, who remains in Petchaboon to care for her two young children, asked Ms Sangwan to take care of the funeral arrangements.

Ms Sangwan’s partner, Boonkuea Kongchana, said he broke down in tears when identifying Ms Wanphen’s remains at the hospital morgue.

My wife and I and Wanphen’s friends at the bar helped collect money to pay for the funeral. We didn’t get much, but it was enough for a small ceremony,” he said.

A friend from the bar told the Gazette, “I pray that her soul finds peace and that she doesn’t worry about her mother or two children. We will try to help them as much as we can,” she said.

I knew her for some time. I remember one time I left the bar and when I returned she gave me a big hug and told me she really missed me while I was away. It really made me feel loved,” she said.

Other friends of Ms Wanphen who attended said they were terrified of meeting a similar fate.

I really don’t trust the expats here anymore. Now I prefer tourists. Now before going out with any of them we talk for a lot longer, trying to learn as much as we can about them. We also take photos of them at the bar and call up our friends who have gone out to make sure they are safe,” she said.

I think that the suspect is in Phuket. Maybe he has a business here. I wish Phen’s spirit could convince him to turn himself in to police,” she said.

Readers will recall that the Phuket Gazette had set up a channel for charitable donations to help the family of the deceased with immediate financial needs for funeral-related expenses.

A total of 20,000 baht was raised and that amount was turned over today to Mrs Sa-ard Maliwan, mother of Wanphen.

Mrs Sa-ard was grateful for the assistance and asked that the Gazette relay her thanks to the donors.

Meanwhile, with a view toward providing longer term assistance, a major charitable organization with a global reach is conducting due diligence on the circumstances surrounding Wanphen’s two young children and other family members.

Should the organization find itself in a position to proceed, an announcement will be made here on the Gazette Online.

— Sitthipong Nongkaew


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand26 mins ago

Sunday Covid update: 125 deaths and 12,353 new cases

Thailand10 hours ago

Record-breaking 1 million Covid-19 vaccines given yesterday

Technology12 hours ago

Junk messages must now be blocked by Thai mobile carriers

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Kanchanaburi14 hours ago

Abusive Kanchanaburi temple rehab centre ordered to close.

Phuket15 hours ago

Phuket begins new subdermal injection method for vaccines

Bangkok16 hours ago

Police bust hotel party with ecstacy and ketamine, 59 arrested

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 5 new deaths and 4 new Sandbox infections

Thailand18 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 Afternoon Update: full provincial totals

Phuket20 hours ago

Phuket man finds 30 million baht surprise on beach: “whale poop”

Malaysia21 hours ago

Transgender who fled to Thailand faces extradition to Malaysia

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 Update: 11,975 infections, 127 deaths

Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | Nov 1 reopening proposed; arrest for “sexy” officer cosplay | September 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

Covid-19 UPDATE: Provincial totals, vaccinations and more

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

Contrary to Anutin, US says delivery of vaccines awaits Thailand

Thailand2 days ago

Sunsets, ‘Farangs’ and Boring Charisma | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 25

Tourism4 days ago

Travel data to Thailand for 106 million people unprotected online

Economy6 days ago

Cuts to import duty on alcohol, cigars, part of plan to entice wealthy foreigners

Crime5 days ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

Thailand5 days ago

Party at luxury villa in Phuket raided, homeowner allegedly assaults police officer

Coronavirus Vaccines6 days ago

Doctors say cardiac arrest caused death of man given AstraZeneca booster shot

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 days ago

Covid-19: Detailed info on vaccinations, hospitalisations, and provinces

Thailand6 days ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok5 days ago

Governor says Bangkok will only re-open when safe to do so

Thailand5 days ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Phuket3 days ago

Police suddenly began raiding Patong bars selling alcohol

Pattaya4 days ago

October Pattaya reopening on schedule according to mayor

Thailand6 days ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Crime4 days ago

Ex-cop “Joe Ferrari,” other officers charged with violating discipline policy over suspect’s death

Phuket7 days ago

Phuket domestic travel rules need streamlining, officials discuss

Thailand5 days ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11