Thitma Noraphanpiphat’s mother and father as caring grandparents to 3-year-old little Bam Bam, have not told the little Thai girl yet what has become of ‘mammy belle’ keeping the heartbreak and pain inside but someday she will know. The story of a young working Thai mother trying to make life better for her family and daughter has captured the imagination of the public in Thailand because it is, at the end of the day, a family story.
The death of Bangkok ‘pretty’ Lunlabelle or Ms Thitma Noraphanpiphat is still triggering news events and online commentary in Thailand weeks after the incident. But at the centre of it is a family which misses a mother and daughter. Lunlabelle or Ms Thitma, like many professional presenters was a striver and hardworking woman from a respectable background. She was also the mother of a three-year-old little girl called Bam Bam.
It is now nearly two weeks since the tragic death of Lunlabelle or Ms Thitma Noraphanpiphat. The police in Nonthaburi and Bukkhalo are still busy carrying out their investigations into the death of the 25-year-old woman as charges have been laid against the prime suspect seen in CCTV footage lifting the young woman like a lifeless doll around his condominium building on the 16th and 17th of September last.
Young woman in the CCTV photos was probably dead according to senior police officers
It has been revealed by police that the young woman was probably dead in those pictures according to the autopsy report presented to police by Chulalongkorn Hospital. The Head of the Metropolitan Police Division 8 Samrit Tongtao pointed this out recently at a press conference. In the meantime, police gather their evidence and prepare their case against the accused.
Second ‘pretty’ came forward last week
Last week, a second ‘pretty’ or presenter named as ‘Deer’ came forward and filed a report with police saying that she had also blacked out at the party and woke up naked. Six additional suspects at the party were arrested by police and have since been bailed. They instigated their own legal action against the second presenter accusing her of theft.
Commentators and media use Lunlabelle’s story to explore the darker recesses of Thai society
Commentators in Thailand have taken up the story of Ms Thitma or Lunlabelle as an opportunity to explore the twilight world that many respectable young Thai women enter into to make better income although it inevitably leads them to rub shoulders with less savoury characters from drug dealers and gangsters to all forms of hustlers. Others have taken an interest in the tragic death to highlight the very real dangers of alcohol.
Person whose interest in the tragedy matters most
But there is one person whose interest in the death of the young woman matters more than everyone else and that person does not even know yet that Ms Thitma has died. It is her three-year-old daughter who is beginning to be perplexed because she has not seen ‘mammy belle’ in quite a few days. Little Bam Bam does not know that she will never see her beautiful young mother alive again or feel her embrace.
Little Bam Bam accompanied her grandparents
She was present last week when her parents visited the Ministry of Justice seeking a second autopsy and also later in the week at the funeral rites at Wat Sakae Ngam for her mother when she saw Mammy Belle’s pictures at the centre of everything. Her grandparents have told her that her mother has important work to do and must be away for now.
The grandparents told the media last week that little Bam Bam didn’t quite understand what was happening and they have decided not to tell her at this time.
Parents of Lunlabelle disturbed by the obnoxious behaviour of the prime suspect
The parents are quite upset at the manner of their daughter’s passing and what they consider to be the obnoxious behaviour of the prime suspect in the case in taking their daughter’s lifeless body to his home, undressing her and then representing her in the foyer of his condominium building dressed in his garments.
A heavy burden to bear
In Thailand, drinking alcohol for many people is something beyond the pale, drinking in extreme quantities is extremely disquieting. To hear that this is how their young daughter died on top of the loss of their loved one and provider is a heavy burden for Ms Suppamas and her husband Chavalit to bear. Not to mention the anguish and heartbreak of seeing little Bam Bam anxiously enquiring about her mother.
Bam Bam’s grandmother told reporters last week that family will eventually tell the little girl when she is old enough to understand.
Parents satisfied with the police handling of the case
Last week, the parents expressed their satisfaction with the progress of the case after they had a meeting with the policeman who has been handling from day one. They are keeping the body of Lunlabelle refrigerated at Thammasat University in case it should be required again as part of the ongoing probe.
Good daughter, good mother and good friend
Lunlabelle was a good daughter and a good mother. A friend recently on Facebook revealed that she had been putting aside money to send her little girl to a good school, a private one. Such things are expensive in Thailand.
She was also popular with her friends and ex-school mates at Bangpakok Wittayakom School who were planning to throw her a party two days after she was found dead on the 17th of September last and the controversy over her death erupted.