PHUKET: Two men were found hanged in separate incidents on Saturday, one while in police custody after he was caught for robbing a German neighbor.
Tung Tong Police Superintendent Arayapan Pukbuakhao identified one of the deceased as 26-year-old Anurak Prohmwiharn, unemployed and listed as living in Soi Namtok, which leads to the Kathu Waterfall.
Mr Anurak’s death was initially reported at about 2:30 am on Saturday by Sgt Maj Peeraphon Junmee, the officer on duty and in charge of the cells at the time, said Col Arayapan.
Mr Anurak was found hanging by a meter-long garment that he usually wore wrapped around his midsection, under his clothing. The garment was a gift from his mother when he served his compulsory military duty years ago, and was not visible to officers when he was placed in the cell the day before, Col Arayapan explained.
Col Arayapan denied a report in a local newspaper that Mr Anurak had been employed as a tout for a go-go bar near Soi Bangla, saying only that the man was unemployed and had a cousin in Patong.
After stealing the wallet of a German neighbor, Mr Anurak climbed onto his roof and refused to come down. His own brother, 31-year-old Channarong Prohmwiharn, made the call that led to his arrest, Col Arayapan explained.
Col Arayapan attributed Mr Anurak’s apparent suicide to his unstable mental condition, the result of a long-term addiction to inhalants.
He had recently escaped from a drug rehabilitation center, Col Arayapan added.
Before hanging himself, Mr Anurak re-opened a wound on his finger, using his own blood to paint an image on the cell wall. The blood-painting included a skull-and-crossbones, what appeared to be a sword pointing to a star, and the words “50 baht”, he said.
The original wound happened before he was taken into custody, Col Arayapan added.
Mr Anurak’s family were initially suspicious of the circumstances behind his death, but they later accepted that Mr Anurak had taken his own life.
Patong Hospital Director Taweesak Netwong, Deputy Provincial Prosecutor Tawan Sukhiran and district- and tambon-level officers were among those who participated in the subsequent investigation.
The family does not plan to press charges, said Col Arayapan.
Across town, at 8:45 am on Saturday, Phuket City Police received a report of a man found hanged by the neck from a tree in a mangrove swamp off Soi Pracha-Utit, near Srisuthat Rd, in Rasada.
Duty Officer Pitakpol Sompong told the Gazette that police have been unable to identify the shirtless corpse, which was found without any form of identification.
Local residents questioned said they had never seen the man before, he said.
Maj Pitakpol told the Gazette that, judging by the man’s features, he suspected the man was a Burmese fisherman.
His body will be kept at the provincial morgue pending identification by relatives, he added.
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