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Police seek two Burmese for double murder at sea

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Police seek two Burmese for double murder at sea | Thaiger

RASSADA: Police are looking for two Burmese men wanted for the murder of a squid boat owner and his wife, whose bodies were pulled from the sea near Koh Dokmai late last week.

The Gazette’s Thai-language affiliate newspaper Kom Chad Luek originally reported that the first body was discovered by fishermen off Koh Dokmai, some 30 kilometers west of Phuket City, on Thursday morning.

Clad in a black shirt with a floral pattern and blue shorts, the body was recovered later the same day by Marine Police and volunteer rescue workers from the Kusolharm Foundation aboard Marine Police vessel Tor 524.

The body, later identified as that of 51-year-old Ranong resident Pranee Rodnuak, bore a single severe wound to the left side of the head.

The body had been in the water no less than 24 hours before its discovery, police said.

K. Pranee’s body was taken by marine police to Rassada Harbor, where it was identified by her friend Jongjit Limsakul, 43.

K. Jongjit told police that K. Pranee had set off on Thursday afternoon in squid fishing boat Look Tonawa together with her husband, 59-year-old Viroj Thongsri and two Burmese crew members.

The squid boat was discovered some time later floating unattended off the Por Pichai dry docks in tambon Rassada; Her engine was still running.

Police were notified immediately after the boats decks were found covered with bloodstains, K. Jongjit was quoted as saying in Kom Chad Luek.

Initial speculation that K. Viroj might have played a role in his wife’s murder – the couple had reportedly been fighting – ended with the discovery of his body at about 10 am on Friday, not far from where his wife’s body was recovered.

Phuket City Police Investigations Inspector Lt Col Pitakpol Sompong this morning told the Gazette that K. Viroj, also a Ranong native, had apparently had his neck cut by a single slash from behind.

His body was found floating in a blue t-shirt, brown shorts and still wearing a watch that had stopped at 4:30, although it is impossible to know if that was 4:30 am or 4:30 pm.

“Assuming that the timepiece stopped when the victim’s body was thrown into the sea, it might help provide information useful in reconstructing the time line of events,” he said.

“K. Viroj had died at least 24 hours before the discovery of the body, which was positively identified by relatives after its return to port,” he added.

As for the two Burmese suspects, he said there was a witness who had seen them get off the boat and run away.

“Police will continue to question people in the port area in Rassada to try and get more information,” he said.

 

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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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