PATONG: A freelance photographer has confessed to murdering a cashier from a Patong shopping mall, after a police search uncovered the .38 revolver used in the slaying stashed away inside a pillow in his rented room on Soi Larb Ped, Patong.
Pol Lt Col Chaowalit Niamwadee of Kathu Police Station said the body of the victim, identified as 22-year-old Kanjanee “Rung” Kraisee, was found by rubber tappers and reported to the Kathu Police at about 8:30 on Sunday morning.
Her body was found lying about five meters from a rubber tappers’ shack in a plantation off Phra Barami Soi 9 in Kalim. Her Suzuki motorcycle was found on a path about 300 meters from the scene.
K. Rung had suffered three bullet wounds, one in the back, one in the chest and one in the face.
Police found a red Nokia mobile phone and a set of keys in her pocket. Using one of the keys, they opened the seat cover of the nearby motorcycle and found her Thai ID card, enabling them to identify her.
Police and emergency rescue workers from the Kusoldharm Foundation delivered the body to Patong Hospital for examination. From the condition of the body, doctors estimated that she had died at least three hours before their arrival.
The same rubber tappers who reported the body to the police said that they saw the victim arrive on the back of the motorcycle, which was driven by a young man. Another three men were with them, on other motorbikes. All five parked, got off their bikes and walked into the plantation together. Several hours later, the tappers discovered the body.
The subsequent police investigation revealed that the victim had been employed as a cashier at Ocean Shopping Mall on Soi Bangla, a job she had quit just two days before her death.
A former colleague at the mall told investigators that, just before quitting her job, K. Rung had become romantically involved with a freelance photographer, whom he identified as 19-year-old Anucha “It” Unruan, who roamed beer bars along Soi Bangla, offering foreign tourists the chance have their photos taken.
Col Chaowalit said police questioned several photographers and learned the location of Anucha’s rented room on Soi Larb Ped. Police went there and found him at home.
During initial questioning, Anucha denied ever having known the victim. His face turned white, however, when police produced mobile phone records showing several calls between him and the victim just before her death.
He later confessed and police found the murder weapon, a .38-caliber handgun belonging to the victim, stashed away inside a pillow in his room.
Anucha told police that he had initially shot Rung by accident but then, frightened at the possibility of being arrested, shot her twice more to keep her quiet.
The other three men were also identified and have been interviewed. Not having been involved in the shooting, they will appear as witnesses against Anucha when he appears in court. Anucha is now in custody in Phuket Provincial Prison, awaiting his day in court.
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