Mystery surrounds death of two Thai students in Seattle

Mystery surrounds death of two Thai students in Seattle

Kornkamol Leenavarat, 25, a law graduate, was pursuing her studies for a master's degree in law in the United States. She and another Thai student were found dead in their apartment in Seattle on Tuesday morning. (Photo taken from Weerasak Leenavarat Facebook page)
Kornkamol Leenavarat, 25, a law graduate, was pursuing her studies for a master's degree in law in the United States. She and another Thai student were found dead in their apartment in Seattle on Tuesday morning. (Photo taken from Weerasak Leenavarat Facebook page)

One of the two female Thai students found dead in their apartment in Seattle on Tuesday had flown to the United States only two weeks ago to further her studies for a master’s degree in law, according to a member of her family.

Kornkamol Leenavarat, 25, and her close friend Thiti-orn Chotchuangsap were found dead in their apartment in Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday morning (Tuesday evening in Bangkok).

She was the youngest daughter of Pawawin Leenavarat, former deputy mayor of Thanyaburi municipality, in Pathum Thani Province. She was also a niece of the current mayor of the municipality.

Weerasak Leenavarat, a member of the Pathum Thani provincial council, posted a message and photos of his younger sister on his Facebook account on Wednesday night after learning about her death.

In the message, he said the family was deeply saddened by her sudden death. Kornkamol, a law graduate from Thammasat University, had flown to the US on Aug 21 to continue her studies for a master’s degree in law.

Local media in Seattle reported the two women were found dead inside a University District apartment near the University of Washington on Tuesday morning. It was unclear how the women died, but Seattle detectives had determined there were no suspects at-large, according to patch.com website.

According to Seattle police, the building manager went to a unit in the Malloy Apartments near the intersection of 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 43rd Street around 9.30am to check on the occupants' well-being. He discovered the bodies. The incident was originally reported as a stabbing.

In a phone interview with the Bangkok Post, Mr Weerasak said his youngest sister and her roommate were found dead inside their apartment room. However, the cause of their deaths remained unknown.

Relatives in the US had visited the apartment and met with police. He could not give any further information because he did not have the exact details yet. The family would await the findings of the US police investigators.

Thanyaburi mayor Kritsada Leenavarat said Kornkamol had phoned the family every day. When they did not hear from her on Sept 1 they asked a relative in Seattle to go to her apartment and check, but they were unable to find her, according to Thairath Online.

The family was making preparations to bring her body back to Thailand for funeral rites.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Busadee Santipitak on Thursday confirmed the second Thai student found dead in the Seattle apartment was Thiti-on Chotchuangsap.

A web search reveals that Thiti-On Chotchuangsap is listed as a director of Pornsiri Power Limited Partnership, a Samut Sakhon based company that deals in food products.  

Pol Maj Gen Ittiphol Itthisarnronnachai, deputy chief of the Immigration Bureau, said later on Thursday that immigration records showed Thiti-on left the country on Aug 21, and Kornkamol left on Aug 27. 


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