Daughter still asks for 'mummy belle'

Daughter still asks for 'mummy belle'

Bam Bam is carried to school by her mother, Thitima
Bam Bam is carried to school by her mother, Thitima "Lunlabelle" Noraphanpiphat, on a happy morning before tragedy struck the family. (Photo from Ffonee Ame Facebook account)

Ten days after the tragic death of Thitima "Lunlabelle" Noraphanpiphat, her young daughter still does not understand why her mother has not come home.

The child's grandmother, Suppamas Noraphanpiphat, said on Friday three-year-old Bam Bam was still asking her why she had not seen her mother for days.

"She still asks me when I put her to bed, 'where is mummy belle'," Mrs Suppamas said. "I have had to tell her she is working late these days."

The family took Bam Bam with them to Wat Sakae Ngam for the chanting rite for Lunlabelle. She did not understand what the ceremony was for, but did respond to the picture of her mother there.

Lunlabelle's body was moved from the temple in Bang Khunthian district in Bangkok to the Medical Research Centre at Thammasat University Rangsit campus in Khlong Luang district of Pathum Thani on Thursday.

Her parents are waiting for the Central Institute of Forensic Science of the Justice Ministry to perform a fresh autopsy to confirm the cause of death.

Mrs Suppamas and her husband Chavalit advised police investigators on Friday they had asked the  Justice Ministry for a second autopsy, to thoroughly verify the reason their daughter died. The results released from the first autopsy, by Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, pointed to extreme alcohol intoxication. The full report from Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital has not been released.

The parents have explained they did not believe she would have willingly drunk herself to death.

Monchai Dechaparpa, a lawyer for the family, said after a meeting with Pol Maj Gen Samrit Tongrao, the chief investigator of the case, that his clients were satisfied with the progress to date. They decided to move the body to Thammasat University to avoid any possible problem if there was a power cut at the temple, the lawyer said.

Lunlabelle, a product presenter, was the major breadwinner for the family - taking care of her parents as well as Bam Bam. She had enrolled Bam Bam at a school where she would grow up bilingual, according to a message posted by a close friend on a Facebook account under the name Ffonee Ame, on Tuesday.

"I asked her why she had to send her daughter to an expensive school, she told me she wanted her daughter to get a good education," Ffonee Ame wrote. 

Lunlabelle was found dead on Sept 17 on a sofa in the lobby of the condominium where Rachadech "Nam Oun" Wongtabutr lives, after they came back from a party at a house in Bang Bua Thong district in Nonthaburi the previous evening.

Mr Rachadech was arrested on Wednesday on charges of detaining her in a way that caused her death, molestation and committing an indecency.

Police have said she died between 3pm and 7pm on Sept 16.

The date of her death on the picture sitting beside her casket was Sept 17. That was two days before all of her close friends at Bangpakok Wittayakom School planned to get together for the first time in years to throw her a party to celebrate her 26th birthday.

Lunlabelle was born on Sept 19, 1993 - and the party was never to be.

As for Bam Bam, her grandmother said she will eventually learn what happened to Lunlabelle. "One day we will have to tell her the whole truth," Mrs Suppamas said.


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