The last haunting image of the couple showed the 18-year-old cadet with a death scythe image on the back of his T-shirt as he followed his girlfriend into the apartment from which the two lovers were never to emerge.
Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police Chief, Lieutenant General Thiti Saengsawang came forward at the end of the week to quell runaway speculation and rumour relating to the shock murder-suicide this week in the city when the body of a social media star was found dead next to her military cadet boyfriend at an upmarket apartment complex in the heart of the capital. The top police officer revealed that a new investigative team had been appointed to finalise the probe into the deaths which he insisted was a straightforward case as police are working in the belief that there was no third-party involvement.
Bangkok’s society and fans of a 20-year-old social media star have been left reeling from what appears to have been a tragic murder-suicide driven by jealous love and infatuation carried out at a luxury condominium complex in the Asoke area of Bangkok sometime between the early hours of April 18th last and April 19th.
On April 19th, a friend of the beautiful young woman, Gigi or Ms Supitcha Preedacharoen, a social media star online with over 200,000 followers, used her knowledge of her friend’s key codes to enter her apartment on the 14th floor at the Q Asoke Condo complex in the capital to pay her a visit after being unable to make contact the day previously, something that was highly unusual.
Friend let herself into Gigi’s apartment on Tuesday afternoon as concern for her grew when she failed to return phone calls, she found a tragic scene
When she arrived at 1.30 pm, she found all the lights still on and air conditioning running in the upper-end Bangkok residence.
In the bedroom, she was shocked to discover the bodies of her 20-year-old friend and her 18-year-old on-and-off boyfriend Mr Phumpat Chaiwanichaya or Ikkyu, a military cadet in his second year of military training and the son of a high profile general who was formerly a key expert at Royal Thai Army headquarters.
The two were found lying in the bed surrounded by their own blood with Mr Ikkyu still clutching a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol which has become central to the ongoing police investigation.
Couple had a tempestuous history of violent arguments and make-ups including alleged physical abuse by the 22-year-old social media performer and star
The couple had a history of violent arguments and outbursts between each other and had split up several times with Ms Gigi telling close friends that she had been the object of physical abuse at the hands of her young lover, even revealing scars and bruises.
However, they had recently been reunited and against the wishes of the young woman’s mother and stepfather, travelled to Pattaya days before for Songkran.
Mr Ikkyu had arrived at her apartment at 4.30 am on the morning of the 18th of April, having just taken leave from his military duties.
Police investigators obtained video footage showing her admitting him into the building and escorting him to her 14th-floor home which was being rented by her and paid for by her parents after she had previously moved out of another unit owned or supplied by the young trainee officer.
Police conducting a tight investigation into the deaths given its high profile nature and public interest leading to unfounded speculation and rumour
Given the potentially high-profile nature of the case, the Metropolitan Police Bureau, according to senior officers this week, has been particularly fastidious to follow criminal and investigative procedures exactly as laid down given the possibility of third-party legal action related to the case and the high level of public interest.
This involved setting up a cordon outside the apartment after the woman’s friend and mother who was initially called, had left the scene.
The two bodies were later sent for an autopsy to the Ramathibodi Hospital, as forensic investigators worked on the crime scene.
The case has already given rise to rumour and controversial claims with some sensational and false online reports suggesting the young military cadet had not died in the attack but senior police, up to Police Lieutenant General Thiti Saengsawang, the Chief of the Metropolitan Police in Bangkok, have confirmed that the young man died from one single bullet which entered his head through the right temple as well the fact that gunpowder residue had been found on his hands.
National police chief confirmed that the cadet’s father was the owner of the pistol used in the killing which was fully licensed and correctly registered
Further controversy surrounds the ownership of the sophisticated pistol which led, on Thursday, to National Police Commissioner General Damrongsak Kittiprapas confirming that it was legally registered and fully licenced in the name of the young man’s father.
Police officers have indicated that it remains to be seen if the senior military officer is culpable for its alleged illegal use by his son or if he was negligent in holding the weapon in safekeeping.
The young killer’s love of shooting guns was another key reason why Ms Gigi’s mother, 44-year-old Ms Chutikan Theerarojanaphong, and her stepfather 39-year-old Mr Kirati Artharn, had been apprehensive about the continuation of the relationship between the pair.
Mother of Ms Supitcha or Gigi told the press that she long feared a tragedy just like this after hearing of the young man’s love of guns and shooting
Ms Chutikan this week said she always feared a situation just like that which appears to have happened given the violent and stormy nature of the couple’s relationship which appears to have been driven by Mr Phumpat’s jealous infatuation with the beautiful young woman.
At the same time, police have learned, in recent days, that Ms Supitcha herself liked to visit the shooting range with her boyfriend during which they both took part in firing pistols with a gun said to have been delivered by a driver from the man’s family which was not normally carried around by the trainee officer but kept at his family home.
It is understood that both families of the pair were aware of their fractious relationship and had communicated with each other on the subject.
18-year-old cadet was the son of a high-profile army general who formerly had a career at Royal Thai Army headquarters and had a bright future ahead
The 18-year-old, the son of General Somchai Chaiwanichaya who worked formerly at Royal Thai Army headquarters, was a highly regarded cadet and President of the Preparatory Class of Students for 2022.
On Thursday, Metropolitan Police Bureau Chief Lieutenant General Thiti Saengsawang insisted that the case was relatively straightforward but that, nevertheless, a new investigation team had been assigned to review and finalise the matter.
He said it appeared likely that the military cadet had murdered his girlfriend but a conclusive finding on this must await police ballistic results showing the angle of the bullets fired although initial findings point to no third party being involved in the death of the two young people.
He said that police are still looking very closely at the CCTV footage from the building to determine if anyone had emerged from the apartment between 4.30 am on the 18th of April and 1.30 pm when the bodies were found, a day later on the 19th.
Autopsy report: the pair were dead 8 to 24 hours
Earlier, the initial autopsy reports estimated that the couple had died between 8 and 24 hours from when their bodies were found on Wednesday afternoon, April 19th.
Police have been talking to friends of both the woman and the young man and had established their prior movements before the incident including the trip by the pair to Pattaya as well as the background of quarrels and arguments between them.
Police Lieutenant General Thiti said it would be wrong to assume that the owner of the gun, the man’s father, was culpable in this matter and that officers would be looking at this at a later stage in the investigative process.
He appealed to people, for now, to allow both families room to perform funeral rites and grieve for the two young people who died.
Last image shows the cadet following his beloved into her home carrying a package in his left hand and a death scythe image on the back of his T-Shirt
Social media is swirling with reports related to the tragic ending of two young people with viral reports of lover’s prose in a notebook being attributed to the 18-year-old killer where he speaks of his love for the young woman suggesting that she had thought him love and ruminating on death.
‘You taught me love. I worship love no less than you. Both of us can die instead. Excluding parents and grandparents. Even after breaking up, it’s still encouraging. Caring and wishing me well to live on. No matter where you are, who you are with, I still care because there is nothing more beautiful in this world than your smile. Thank you for being everything.’
The last photo of the pair taken on CCTV cameras at the Asoke apartment complex shows a woman leading the way back to the apartment while her taller, male companion, Mr Phumpat, follows carrying a package in his left hand and a T-Shirt with a death scythe image emblazoned on the back.