Second autopsy on Lunlabelle planned for Thursday

Second autopsy on Lunlabelle planned for Thursday

Parents hope it will clarify details of her death

The family of Thitima
The family of Thitima "Lunlabelle" Noraphanpiphat arrive at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital on Oct 2 to hear the results of forensic tests on the late product presenter. Thitima died after working at a party in Nonthaburi on Sept 16. (Bangkok Post file photo)

A second autopsy on deceased product presenter Thitima "Lunlabelle" Noraphanpiphat is planned for Thursday, to clear up her parents’ lingering doubts over her death.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said on Wednesday the ministry’s Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) would do the second autopsy requested by Chavalit, 58, and Supamas Noraphanpiphat, 57, who have questions about their daughter's death they want resolved. 

Pol Lt Col Wannapong Khotcharak, director of the CIFS, said the autopsy would begin on Thursday at Thammasat University Hospital in Rangsit

The results of the first autopsy by King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital would be reviewed before forensic pathologists begin the second, the CIFS director said.

The fresh autopsy would focus on additional issues that Thitima's parents had doubts about, particularly whether she was sexually assaulted or not.

Pol Lt Col Wannapong said the second autopsy would be completed by Oct 21 so that results could be sent to police handling Thitima’s death during the court approved detention period of the prime suspect in the case.

The CIFS would invite forensic experts from King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital and Ramathibodi Hospital to observe the second autopsy.

Thitima, 25, a young product presenter better known as “Lunlabelle’’, was found dead on a sofa in the lobby of a condominium building on Ratchadaphisek-Tha Phra Road in Thon Buri district early on Sept 17. Surveillance camera footage showed she was carried into the building the previous evening by Rachadech, "Nam Oun" Wongtabutr, a work colleague who lived there. He also placed her on the sofa early the next morning.

She was hired to serve drinks at a party in a house in Bang Bua Thong district, Nonthaburi, on the afternoon of Sept 16.

The first autopsy found  that Thitima died of extreme alcohol intoxication with a blood alcohol concentration of 418 milligrammes per 100 millilitres - a level that causes unconsciousness and death.

Mr Rachadech, 25, was later arrested and charged with detaining her in a manner that caused her death, detention for purposes of molestation, and molestation. He denied all charges.

Pongsa Ratree, lawyer of Thitima’s family, said the new autopsy would not be a repeat of the first, and  would focus on some specific issues.

The family had doubts about some chemicals found in the house where the party was held, and wanted to know whether those substances were in Thitima’s body or not.

After the second autopsy was completed, the family would cremate her body, Mr Pongsa said.

On the issue of compensation from the ministry’s fund for victims of the crime, the family would await the results of the police investigation and the autopsy findings before seeking assistance, the lawyer said.

Samart Jenchaijitwanit, vice minister of justice, had said Thitima's parents could seek assistance from the Labour Ministry regarding jobs and ways to help clear debts arising from a housing loan and a 200,000 baht education loan, Mr Pongsa said.

Last month, six party attendees were charged in connection with an alleged sexual assault on a female product presenter at the same party at the Bang Bua Thong house that Thitima attended.

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