American, Thai wife still in ICU
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American, Thai wife still in ICU

An American inmate and his Thai wife who escaped from custody were still being treated in an intensive care unit yesterday as their condition remained serious, a doctor said.

Puwadol Kittiwattanasarn, the Sakaeo Crown Prince Hospital director, said yesterday that both Bart Allen Helmus and his Thai wife Sirinapa Wisetrit were still in the ICU and their conditions remained critical.

Mr Helmus's condition was more serious as he remains on life support after being declared brain dead.

The hospital chief said that doctors also performed a surgery on Ms Sirinapa -- who was not pregnant as reported -- as she was suffering from bleeding in the brain. She was also put on a ventilator although the machine could be removed soon.

The doctor was responding to an earlier police report that Mr Helmus might have decided to end his life when cornered and learning his wife was pregnant.

"She told us she was not pregnant," Dr Puwadol said. "The woman could have been stressed and her menstrual cycle disrupted."

Mr Helmus, Ms Sirinapa, and another Thai prisoner, Noi Nilthes, managed to escape from the Pattaya Court on Monday after injuring a police officer on duty at the courthouse.

They were among 14 inmates in custody at the Special Prison at Nong Pla Lai in Bang Lamung district of Chon Buri province who were taken to the court to stand trial.

The three were arrested in two different locations on Wednesday in areas bordering Khao Chakhan and Watthana Nakhon districts of Sa Kaeo province.

When the pair was surrounded by police, the American reportedly fired a couple of rounds at police before firing one shot at his wife and then turning the gun on himself.

The couple were subsequently sent to the hospital in Muang district of Sa Kaeo.

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