A Thai man has admitted to abducting a Myanmar colleague, raping her and later setting her body on fire after she drowned while he was trying to flee with her by jumping into a pond.
Police arrested Boonlai Buaman, 27, an electrician at a company in tambon Lad Takhian of Kabin Buri district at a relative’s house in Watthana Nakhon district of neighbouring Sa Kaeo province late Thursday night.
The arrest was made after the burned body of a woman was found in a eucalyptus plantation in tambon Wang Thachang of Kabin Buri on Thursday.
A team of police investigators, forensic offers and a doctor examined the scene on Thursday. They found two car tyres that had been used to set the body on fire. Officers later determined the identity of the victim, who was a 21-year-old Myanmar national.
The investigation subsequently pointed to Mr Boonlai, who worked at the same company as the victim and stayed in a row of rented rooms near hers in Kabin Buri.
The suspect allegedly abducted the woman from her room on Nov 14. During questioning, he confessed he had abducted the woman as he was in love with her.
While in the woman’s room, he attempted to have sex with her but she resisted. He then assaulted her and dragged her to a nearby oil palm plantation. Suddenly he heard a dog barking and he tried to flee with his victim. He jumped into a nearby pond with the woman but was unaware that she could not swim and she drowned, he told police.
The following day, Mr Boonlai said he went to work as normal. Later, he recovered the woman’s body and drove to a eucalyptus plantation where he placed the body on car tyres and set fire to it before fleeing to Sa Kaeo.
During the three days that he hid at a relative’s house, he told investigators, he could not sleep as he was haunted by the spirit of the victim. He got up early each day to give alms to monks, but she still came to haunt him. Finally, he decided to phone an elder sister of the victim.
Police took the suspect for a crime re-enactment and later held him in custody pending legal action.