Hunted Thai-French couple arrested for murder of Italian
published : 29 Jan 2018 at 13:08
updated: 29 Jan 2018 at 18:25
writer: Sitthipoj Kebui
PHICHIT: A fugitive couple, a Thai woman and a Frenchman, wanted for the murder of an Italian man, her husband, 10 days ago in Phichit have both been apprehended by police.
Amaury Rigaud, 33, was caught on Sunday evening at a camp in a forest where he and Rujira Klaylamai, 38, were hiding in adjoining Kamphaeng Phet province's northern Kosamphinakhon district.
She fled and was arrested on Monday morning in a longan orchard close by in Wang Chao district of neighbouring Tak province.
Police said she was pretending to be a worker trimming branches off trees in the orchard. She seemed exhausted after a night on foot fleeing arrest.
Police also quoted the Frenchman as alleging Ms Rujira and a Thai man murdered her husband, Giuseppe De Stefani, 61. At the time of the murder he was in a rented room in Pho Prathap Chang district of Phichit. He later helped her escape, the suspect said.
De Stefani's body was discovered in a forest near Bueang Thap Chan, a freshwater pond in Bung Na Rang district of Phichit on Jan 19.
Police allege the couple killed De Stefani, cut up his body and burned it in a bonfire of rubber tyres near the reservoir. The Phichit Provincial Court last Wednesday issued warrants for their arrest as requested by police.
After a week on the run, the couple were tracked down to Kamphaeng Phet, where a local resident spotted the suspects' getaway car in the forest in Kosamphinakhon district, near Tak province.
In addition to a tent and other camping equipment, a Toyota Yaris with Samut Songkhram licence plates was found at the camp. The car was originally a bronze colour but had been repainted black.
The French fugitive looked tired and scared.
Police examine the campsite where the fugitive suspect was arrested. (Photo by Sitthipoj Kebui)
The suspects' getaway car, originally bronze, had been badly resprayed with black paint. (Photo by Sitthipoj Kebui)