Home where doomed ‘pretty’ partied in spotlight

Home where doomed ‘pretty’ partied in spotlight

Investigators look into Nonthaburi home owner's finances, dismiss reports of imminent arrest warrant

Product presenters who are friends of Thitima Noraphanpiphat arrive at the Bukkhalo police station on Thursday to discuss the case with investigators. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Product presenters who are friends of Thitima Noraphanpiphat arrive at the Bukkhalo police station on Thursday to discuss the case with investigators. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Investigators will examine the finances of the owner of a house in Nonthaburi where a young “pretty” attended a party before she died in the lobby of a Bangkok condominium earlier this week.

So far, police have questioned 10 witnesses — six men and four women — who attended the party at the house in Bang Bua Thong district of Nonthaburi. Among them were two married couples, two female product presenters and a male product presenter, said Pol Maj Gen Samrit Tongtao, chief of Metropolitan Police Bureau Division 8.

Police have been unable to contact another key witness, he said on Friday.

Thitima “Lunlabelle” Noraphanpiphat, a product presenter or “pretty”, was found dead on a sofa in the lobby of a condominium in Thon Buri early Tuesday. 

Rachadech “Nam Oun” Wongthabutr, 24, the prime suspect in the case, lived in the same building.

Pol Maj Gen Samrit dismissed media reports that police were issuing an arrest warrant, saying officers had to look into several offences that might have been committed.

More importantly, he said, investigators need to know the real cause of Thitima’s death, which could have resulted from a heart attack, drug use or excessive alcohol consumption. Forensic results are still pending.

Charges will be pressed only once the outcome of forensic tests is known, as issuing an arrest warrant without evidence would jeopardise the case. Without solid evidence, a culprit could escape punishment if the case went to court as the charges might not be consistent with the facts, said the police commander. 

There has been considerable speculation about the discovery of some medicines, liquid and tablets in bags in Mr Rachadech’s condo unit. Investigators could not confirm whether the “date rape” drug GHB was one of them, said Pol Maj Gen Samrit.

Investigators questioned Mr Rachadech earlier and released him, saying he is not a flight risk, but plan to call him in for further questioning.

At the same time, they are looking into the finances of the owner of the Bang Bua Thong house where Thitima attended a party before she died.

Mr Rachadech, who also works as a product presenter and freelance model, told police on Wednesday that he and some friends, including Thitima, were drinking at the Bang Bua Thong house. He said the woman had several glasses of alcohol, became drunk and then unconscious. He then took her to his condo.

Footage from the condominium security cameras showed a young man carrying an apparently unconscious Thitima into the building around 6pm on Monday, and then taking her to a room on the sixth floor. After a few hours, the same man put her on the safa in the lobby where she was found dead.

On media reports that fluids were found in Thitima’s vagina, Pol Maj Gen Samrit said DNA testing to compare with samples from the prime suspect would take another 15 days.

A source familiar with the case said parties were held frequently at the Bang Bua Thong house between noon and 5pm. Young people who were hired to entertain guests including “new and old faces”. 

One young product presenter who had entertained guests at the house on more than 10 occasions said she was hired to mix drinks and chat with people attending the party. Most guests were car racers and businessmen, she added. The parties were held almost every day, with about 10 guests.

Product presenters were hired for between 3,000 and 4,000 baht for five hours, she said. Attractive women who liked drinking and enjoyed talking were favoured, but nobody was forced to drink alcohol, she said.

She insisted she did not see the guests take drugs, though some smoked baruku.

The woman said she did not know whether Mr Rachadech used illicit drugs. He had been hired to entertain guests at the house in the past and had become a regular at the events. Most of the young women who attended were aware that Mr Rachadech liked to bring women to his condo room, said the woman.

The house owner has refused to give any media interviews.

Another source said the results of blood tests on Mr Rachadech found traces of ketamine and clenbuterol, used to treat breathing disorders including asthma.

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