PATONG: Kathu Police are investigating the grisly murder of a teenage ladyboy whose strangled and beaten body was discovered near the road to Tri Trang Beach on Monday morning.
Kathu Police Superintendent Pol Col Grissak Songmoonnark identified the victim as 19-year-old Thanawoot Wiriyananon. A native of Phatthalung province, K. Thanawoot worked in the Patong nightlife industry, he said.
“About 11:30 am, we received a report that a body had been found and immediately rushed to the scene, a hilly area about 25 meters upslope from the road that leads to Tri Trang Beach.
“We found the victim lying face down near a concrete wall. She was dressed in blue jean shorts and a blue blouse. Her purse, cellphone and other belongings were scattered around her body. Evidence suggests that she was killed elsewhere, then hurriedly dragged into the woods and dumped,” he said.
An initial examination revealed that K. Thanawoot had been strangled, stabbed in the neck and hit in the head with a blunt object. A doctor at Patong Hospital said that she had died no more than 12 hours before her body was discovered, he said.
An initial examination revealed that K. Thanawoot had undergone complete gender reassignment surgery, Col Grissak added.
After questioning the victim’s friends and stepfather in Phattalung, police learned that K. Thanawoot had been a very attractive and popular ladyboy. She had been working in a bar in Patong since early December after moving to Phuket from Phattalung.
K. Thanawoot was last seen leaving the bar with one of her many lovers, Col Grissak said.
Police suspect jealousy as the motive for the murder, though they are aware that the victim also had a criminal background, including two arrests on charges related to ya bah (methamphetamine), he said.
K. Thanawoot had been known to scout other ladyboys to work for an Internet pornographer who was arrested earlier this month in a hotel near Soi Bangla, Col Grissak added.
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