The bizarre case of Nong Gina has echoes of the tragic story of little Nong Chompoo whose body was found on a mountainside in Mukdahan province in May 2020. This story has had a happier ending with the little girl reunited with her 23-year-old mother. Police are exploring the possibility of a more mundane, criminal but perhaps just as evil motive for the crime as they continue to question witnesses in Chiang Mai.
Thai police are investigating the mysterious abduction of an infant girl from her home in the Mae Taeng district of Chiang Mai last Sunday and her rescue on Wednesday after a Burmese man, in custody, admitted to offering her as a sacrifice to the gods of the mountain and the forest. On Saturday, the results of a medical examination conducted on the toddler revealed that she had not been sexually assaulted but had been deprived of food and nourishment during her ordeal before being found by rescuers. Local police believe there is more to the case and are continuing to question witnesses assisted by forensic evidence.
Thai police in Chiang Mai, assisted by an elite team from police headquarters in Bangkok, are still investigating the abduction of a 23-month old little girl from the Mae Taeng district in the province last Sunday.
The toddler was rescued on Wednesday from a hut in a forested area near a mountain cave some 3 km from her home.
Results of a medical examination conducted on ‘Nong Gina’ reportedly left as a sacrifice near a cave
On Saturday, the Chief of Provincial Police Region 5, Lieutenant General Prachuap Wongsuk, revealed the results of tests conducted on the little girl at Nakornping Hospital in Chiang Mai where she was taken with her relieved family after being found in scenes that were both joyous and emotional on Wednesday at a banana plantation and in her village.
It is being reported that the little girl, Phonsiri ‘Nong Gina’ Wongsilarung, had been left in front of a cave in the locality of her home by a 44-year-old man from Myanmar named only by police, at this time, as Mr Siew.
Reports suggest that the man has confessed to leading the girl to the exposed location as a sacrificial offering to the gods of the mountains and forest.
Girl had not eaten for at least 48 hours before being found in a banana plantation hut by police
The child’s medical examination results appeared to support the claims as they showed she had not eaten for at least 48 hours before she was found by police accompanied by a village rescue party on Wednesday at a hut within the banana plantation.
Police are holding the foreign national on charges of entering Thailand illegally and are busy examining forensic evidence collected from the hut near the mountain where the girl was found, having made her way there from the cave.
Police not satisfied with ‘sacrifice’ story as Provincial Police chief for Region 5 confirmed on Saturday that she had not been sexually assaulted
Investigating officers are still not satisfied with the story being told by the man who is currently the chief suspect based on conflicting testimony and reactions to him from third parties within the village after his arrest.
‘From the investigation, it is believed that if Nong Gina would be able to travel to that point, there must be someone who had taken her there for sure. There is a suspect, the person who took us to meet Gina. We are currently collecting forensic evidence from across the whole area to ascertain what might have happened. According to the results of the preliminary physical examination of Nong Gina, no nutrients were found in her system. Her body was weak, very weak,’ said the police chief.
He confirmed, however, that the 23 month-old toddler had not been sexually abused after she went missing from her home and that police were still actively questioning other witnesses in the case.
Main suspect is reported to be a friend of the little girl’s father and known to others in her small village
It is understood the Burmese suspect is a friend of the girl’s father, Mr Suriya Wongsilarung and was known casually to other residents in the tiny village in Mae Taeng.
The local police superintendent, Police Colonel Nathaphon Kaewkamnerd, in recent days, said it was too early yet to decide if there were others involved in the abduction of the toddler.
He said police were examining the forensic evidence very carefully and were satisfied that they would get to the bottom of the matter with Mr Siew being held on Immigration Act charges.
Nong Gina is under medical supervision as an elite police squad flew in from Bangkok to pursue the case
He revealed that ‘Nong Gina’ would remain under close medical supervision at Nakornping Hospital while her home in the village, in recent days, was reported as closed and deserted.
On Friday, the National Police Commissioner, General Suwat Jangyodsuk dispatched a high powered team, led by Deputy Commissioner, Police Major General Jiraphop Phuridech, from Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok using a police aircraft to take part in the investigation.
Nong Chompoo’s uncle arrested as a suspect in her murder by police and sent to Mukdahan for prosecution
The case has echoes of the ‘Nong Chompoo’ case in which the body of a three-year-old girl, Orawan Wongsricha or ‘Nong Chompoo’, was found in a remote mountainous area in May last year near Ban Kok Kork village in the district of Dong Luang in Mukdahan in northeastern Thailand’s Isan region.
The case drew widespread national attention with the little girl’s uncle later being charged in connection with her death in complicated legal proceedings that are still ongoing.
Happier ending as the girl was reunited with her 23 year old mother in her village last Wednesday
This case has had a far happier outcome.
On Wednesday, the mother of Nong Gina or Phonsiri Wongsilarung, 23-year-old Mali Pasi, spoke of her joy at being reunited with her little girl.
‘I was very happy when I saw my daughter again. It is like I am reborn,’ she told reporters. ‘I have to thank authorities and everybody for helping locate my daughter. I was worried about her so much.’