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Phuket road rape victim still in ICU

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PHUKET: Police are still searching for the two suspects wanted for the brutal roadside assault of a Phuket woman last week.

The victim, 58, was set upon by two men just before dawn Thursday morning as she rode her motorbike to a local market.

She was left unconscious by the roadside with blood running from a wound to her head, and she was clad below the waist only in her underwear, which had been pulled off one leg.

Police said that she may have been raped.

Thalang police Lt Col Weerayut Sittirattanakul told the Phuket Gazette that the woman’s condition was so severe that she remains in the ICU at Vachira Phuket Hospital more than a week later.

“She is now conscious and remembers her children, but she hasn’t been able to give any information [on the attack] yet as she is still breathing through a respirator and being fed intravenously,” he said.

“We know only that there were two men at the scene, one fat and one thin. We are looking for a black Honda Click motorbike that was probably used by the men,” he said.

Witnesses told police they were unable to make out the license plate number of the bike because the area where the assault took place was too dark.

Police earlier quoted witnesses as saying they thought they heard an accident and went out to investigate and saw two men, but then went back inside their homes.

The one streetlight that usually illuminated the area was broken the same day as the attack, Lt Col Weerayut said.

Police hope that DNA samples taken from the scene will help track down the suspects and bring them to justice.

“We are still awaiting the DNA test results and hope to match them to one of the suspects,” he said.

Police have reviewed CCTV images of the victim before the attack, which took place before 6am.

One CCTV image showed her riding past the Heroines’ Monument at precisely 5:43am.

Police think they also have images of the attackers, but say the images are dark and unclear.

Police also suspect that the pair may have been under the influence of drugs.

“We questioned the victim’s relatives and acquaintances, who told us she wasn’t involved in any disputes with anyone. She wasn’t argumentative and usually liked to stay at home,” he said.

The current search for suspects is focusing on ex-convicts who have served time for sexual assault, and on migrant laborers working in the area where the attack occurred, he said.

“We have to get every detail right, so we are working slowly and methodically in order to ensure we don’t make any mistakes or arrest innocent people,” he added.

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

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