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Sarong unravels mystery of body dumped near Phuket school

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PHUKET: The sarong wrapped around the head of the man found dead in a field near a prominent Phuket school has led police to arrest a murder suspect.

Police have declined to reveal any information about the suspect, except that he was male.

“This is an ongoing investigation. We believe more than two people were involved in the murder and we don’t want to say anything else at this time,” said Phuket City Police Deputy Superintendent Yongyuth Kongmalai.

When the victim was found near the British International School on June 21 (story here), the only clue to his identity was the company shirt he was wearing.

When police questioned staff at the company, they learned that an employee had lent his shirt to a relative, and from there were able to identify the victim as Niwat Si-urai, 37.

Family members said Mr Niwat spoke on the telephone at his house on the evening of June 20, then left his house on his motorbike, said Lt Col Yongyuth.

He never returned.

Police put out an alert for the motorbike, and received a call from someone who had seen it.

“Someone called and told us that Mr Niwat’s motorbike had been parked in front of a food shop in Soi Surin 5, Phuket Town, at about 1am on June 21,” said Col Yongyuth.

Police recovered the motorbike and the next day received more information.

“Someone called us on June 22 and gave us information connecting the sarong on the victim’s head with the suspect. He said that he had seen a man wearing a similar sarong walking around Soi Surin 5 early on the morning of June 21,” Col Yongyuth explained.

Police were able to find the man and take him into custody the same day.

“We are going to send the sarong and a DNA sample from the suspect to Songklanagarind Hospital in Haad Yai,” said Col Yongyuth.

“If we find the suspect’s DNA on the sarong, we will prosecute him,” he said.

— Irfarn Jamdukor

 

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