Police are searching for a female friend of Wannee Jiracharoenying, a wealthy estate developer believed to have been murdered after a decomposing body was found in a refrigerator at a house in Chiang Mai's Chom Thong district on Sunday.
Wannee was reported missing by her brother, Mr Worapan, on Sunday, after friends and family had been unable to contact her for two weeks.
The female, identified only as "Oom", is reported to have become friends with Wannee this month after they were seen together donating a new minivan to Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong and at Suan Dok Hospital in Chiang Mai province where Wannee donated 19 million baht.
Ms Oom has not been seen since the disappearance of Wannee, and relatives reportedly told police that she has travelled overseas — an explanation that police are currently attempting to verify with immigration.
Although they have not yet formally identified Ms Oom as a suspect, the police are seeking her out in the belief that she might be able to provide valuable information about the apparent murder of the wealthy philanthropist.
According to police, Mr Worapan lost contact with Wannee after she told him she was in Chom Thong to take a dhamma course at the temple and was staying at her house in tambon Bang Luang.
Police said that Wannee had sent a text to a female friend on Oct 16 saying she was about to go to Vietnam but the friend did not hear from her again. When Mr Worapan learned about the Vietnam trip, he believed something was wrong and alerted police.
A team of police went to the house and noticed a foul smell coming from a refrigerator lying on its side in the kitchen. They found a body inside, covered in lime powder, with the head covered with a plastic bag and feet and hands tied.
According to police, the body was decomposing and the sex of the victim could not be identified. A subsequent search found that Wannee's BMW and her mobile phone were missing.
Police said that several large sums of money had been withdrawn from Wannee's account during the two weeks that she was missing.
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decompose : to be destroyed gradually by natural chemical processes - ทำให้เน่าเปื่อย
Dhamma (noun): Buddhist teaching, known as the truth taught by the Buddha - ธรรมะ
disappearance : moving something or someone somewhere where they can no longer be seen - การหายไป, การสาบสูญ, การสูญหาย
donate : to give something such as money or goods to an organisation, especially to a temple, charity, school, political party, etc. - บริจาค
foul : extremely unpleasant - น่ารังเกียจ
immigration : dealing with people entering and leaving the country - การตรวจคนเข้าเมือง
lime (noun): a white substance obtained by heating limestone, used in building materials and to help plants grow - ปูนขาว
missing : not present, but not known to have been harmed or killed - หายไป, สูญหาย
philanthropist : a person who donates and gives money to good causes, to the poor needy and organizations that look after them or do useful research - คนใจบุญสุนทาน,คนใจกุศล
suspect : a person who is thought to have committed a crime - ผู้ต้องสงสัย
verify : to prove that something is true, or to make certain that something is correct - พิสูจน์ว่าเป็นความจริง