Gruesome Sa Kaeo murder raises alarm – Man freed early for previous killing, raped and murdered a 75-Year-old woman on Friday. The 45-year-old man was previously convicted of assault causing death. Prior to the killing, it was revealed he stayed in police facilities. 

Police in Sa Kaeo over the weekend arrested a 45-year-old man for the rape and murder of a 75-year-old woman. The horrific incident took place on Friday afternoon. Questions are being raised by locals about security after it was learned the man, an itinerant, was accommodated recently at police facilities. In addition to that, he was convicted previously of assault causing death. In that case, he only served two years of a four-year sentence before being released.

Police officers in Sa Kaeo on Sunday quickly brought the suspected killer back to the scene. He confessed to the murder of a 75-year-old woman, identified as Ms Boonnam, near an abandoned car showroom but denied raping her.

Eastern Sa Kaeo province this week witnessed a horrific murder and suspected rape. On Friday, the peaceful village of Ban Khlong Mi in Sa Kaeo Province was shattered by a shocking outrage. At length, a 75-year-old woman identified as Ms Boonnam met a tragic end.

Previously, the routine day turned into a nightmare when Ms Boonnam, known for collecting water bottles to sell was found dead after she had gone missing.

Evidently, she was brutally murdered and raped while pushing her two-wheeled cart along Suwannason Road 33.

Grandchild of the murder victim raised the alarm on Friday, hours before her half-naked body was found near an abandoned car showroom in a horrific scene

Previously, on the afternoon of Friday, January 5, Ms Boonnam’s grandchild raised the alarm when she failed to return home.

The tight community rallied quickly, launching a search for the missing and well-loved elderly woman. 

Afterwards, a grim discovery was made around 2 pm near the entrance to an abandoned car showroom.

The scene provided a chilling picture – Ms Boonnam’s lifeless body lay on its back, unclothed on her lower parts. Police found evidence of blood trails and drag marks indicating a violent struggle.

After that, on Saturday morning, at 9 am, the local police swung into action as reports flooded in of a suspicious stranger.

Police Major General Aomsin Bunyanuson, commander of Sa Kaeo Provincial Police, assumed command, prioritising a swift resolution to the case.

Local officers had known the 75-year-old well and were shattered by her fate.

Police immediately swung into action, worked through Friday night and Saturday in the hunt for a definite suspect identified by CCTV and local witnesses

The investigation team, led by Police Colonel Chaturaphat Singhathit and Police Colonel Sarawut Iamsamang, quickly established the circumstances and facts surrounding the heinous crime.

‘We are treating this case with the utmost urgency and deploying all available resources to ensure justice is served for Ms Boonnam,’ asserted Police Major General Aomsin.

Throughout the night, intensive efforts unfolded. Authorities traced CCTV footage, meticulously examined the crime scene, and deployed police dogs from the Border Patrol Police Unit 12 to track the perpetrator.

After that, a definite suspect was identified. The village, gripped by fear and shock, awaited justice for Ms Boonnam.

At 6.02 am on Sunday morning, there was a breakthrough. This occurred when CCTV footage captured the suspect, later identified as Mr Somchai, attempting to purchase water and food. 

Brave store owner questioned and confronted the suspected killer as he tried to buy water and food. Police later thanked him for his cooperation and help

The store owner’s scepticism and subsequent questioning led to a confrontation.

Eventually, the shopkeeper sought to detain him following an earlier brief by the local village headman about the manhunt.

Mr Somchai attempted to flee but was straightaway apprehended by the police.

‘We are grateful for the vigilance of the store owner and the cooperation of the community, which led to a prompt arrest,’ acknowledged Police Colonel Sarawut Iamsamang.

Following his arrest, Mr Somchai confessed to what happened although he denied raping the old woman.

The 45-year-old suspect, a resident of Wang Somboon District, Sa Kaeo Province, admitted to the murder. He described how he dragged Ms Boonnam into the forest and used a rock to bludgeon her to death. However, he insistently denied committing rape.

‘I admit to the killing, but I did not rape her. I want the truth to be known,’ claimed Mr Somchai during the preliminary interrogation.

Police forensics working on the case as the arrested killer denied raping the old woman. Investigators have strong concerns about Mr Somchai’s testimony

At this point, the investigation is focused on forensic evidence.

Authorities remain cautious and are awaiting autopsy results to ascertain the full extent of the crime. Mr Somchai’s criminal history has also come under scrutiny.

In brief, it revealed a prior arrest in 2017 for possessing an unregistered firearm. Subsequently, there was a conviction for fatally assaulting another person in 2018.

The latter is significant, the suspect has killed before.

It is understood that he was released early from prison after his initial 4-year sentence was reduced to 2 years in that case.

‘We will conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that all aspects of this case are examined. Justice will be served for Ms Boonnam,’ affirmed Police Colonel Chaturapat Singhathit.

Police officers staged a crime reenactment with the killer present on Sunday at the scene of Friday’s outrage

Meanwhile, police on Sunday returned to the crime scene.

This was an effort to compile evidence. Later on, officials took Mr Somchai to the crime scene for a comprehensive reconstruction.

Police Colonel Sarawut Iamsamang emphasised the importance of gathering irrefutable evidence to strengthen the case against the suspect.

‘Our focus is on meticulous investigation and adherence to legal procedures. We want to ensure a strong case for prosecution,’ stated Police Colonel Sarawut.

Concurrently, forensics officers descended upon the crime scene to conduct a thorough examination while an autopsy was also ordered. Initial findings revealed the brutality of the attack and traumatic circumstances surrounding Ms Boonnam’s violent death.

‘The autopsy will provide crucial insights into the nature of the crime, helping us build a comprehensive case against the perpetrator,’ explained Police Colonel Damrong Iampiroj, Superintendent of the Provincial Police Station, at Mueang Sa Kaeo.

Tight-knit community in shock and disbelief

In the meantime, a tight-knit local community is in shock.

Ms Boonnam’s relatives, neighbours, and the entire community are struggling to cope with the shock of a horrific crime.

Nang Saithong, Ms Boonnam’s younger sister, recounted the frantic search and the heart-wrenching discovery of her sibling’s lifeless body. The pair have been close since childhood.

‘We never expected such a tragedy to befall our quiet village. Our priority now is to seek justice for my sister and ensure the safety of our community,’ declared Ms Nang. 

At the same time, the outrage has led to questions about the adequacy of security measures. Particularly, after it was learned that the suspect had stayed temporarily at a highway police booth. 

Police vow to review security in the area and their protocols in light of concerns raised in the aftermath of the murder, to prevent another tragedy

Authorities are now evaluating and reinforcing security protocols. They hope to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

‘This incident has prompted a review of our security measures to address any potential vulnerabilities. Our commitment is to the safety and well-being of our community,’ assured Police Major General Aomsin as he spoke with reporters.

The killer is understood to have emerged from a bus three days ago.

Formerly, he told police he was on his way to Saraburi province. He was allowed to use the police facility to shower and eat. He was also allowed to sleep at a roadway highway patrol facility.

The extended family of the 75-year-old woman including grandchildren and the wider community have been left traumatised. The community where she was well known and loved is disturbed by what happened to Ms Boonnam last Friday.

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