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Phuket City Police hunt expat murder suspect

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket City Police hunt expat murder suspect | Thaiger

PHUKET: Phuket City Police are asking the public for help in their search for a Caucasian man who is the prime suspect in the murder of 33-year-old Wanphen Pienjai, the bar hostess whose remains were discovered stuffed into a large suitcase in tambon Wichit last week.

Ms Wanphen, a native of Petchaboon province, was an employee of the Sweetheart Bar on Kata Road, behind the Club Med Resort in Kata.

For the previous report, click here.

The naked body was discovered on the morning of June 24 at a remote location on Chao Fah Thani Road, about 1.5 kilometers from the junction with Chao Fah West Road.

Two employees of the Sweetheart Bar identified the body as that of Ms Wanphen on June 25.

Staff at the Sweetheart Bar said that on the morning of her disappearance Ms Wanphen left with a man described as a bearded Caucasian foreigner who arrived by motorbike.

They were unable to provide a description of the bike, however.

The man had a friendly conversation with the three hostesses present and then asked if the bar had any ‘ladyboy’ prostitutes available, they said.

When they answered “no” the man paid the overnight bar fine and left on the motorbike with Ms Wanphen, they said.

Case officer Sien Keawthong confirmed that two of the victim’s friends came to identify the body after seeing news about the murder on TV. They described the man she left the bar with as a Caucasian man about 175-180 cm tall, with an average build, brown beard and mustache. They estimated his age at about 35 years.

Speaking of the victim, one of her colleagues said, “She had been working here for about three months. I heard that she used to have her own bar business. She was a nice lady. She didn’t talk much and didn’t go out often. She mostly just stayed at the bar.”

We were sure it was her. We recognized her from the ring and the scar on her stomach from an operation [tubal ligation] to prevent pregnancy,” one of the women said.

Another employee told the Gazette she wasn’t paying attention as Ms Wanphen spoke to the man, but said she did remember that he spoke Thai.

Wanphen asked him to get a room near the bar, but the man said he had a house in Phuket Town, so I think he must be an expat,” she said.

Phuket City Police Superintendent Wanchai Ekpornpit told the Gazette yesterday police have questioned seven or eight witnesses already, but still don’t know the name of the suspect.

Police have released a facial composite of the man in hopes that the public can provide clues as to his whereabouts. Possible sightings and anonymous tips can by phoned in by calling 191, he said.

— S. Nongkaew & Phuket Gazette


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

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