Base death prompts navy probe

Base death prompts navy probe

An investigation has been ordered into the mysterious death of a 21-year-old seaman at the naval base in Chon Buri's Sattahip district, the navy says.

Seaman Jesadakorn Natesaengsri, attached to the navy's 2nd military police battalion, Sattahip naval base, was rushed to hospital early on April 28 when he was found foaming at the mouth on his bed by his colleagues. He died shortly afterward.

His body was brought to his home in Phitsanulok for a funeral, but the absence of his colleagues -- who found him in critical condition -- from the funeral, attracted media attention. Some reports indicated herbicides were found in his stomach.

Navy spokesman Prachachart Sirisawat said yesterday the navy launched the probe into the seaman's death due to the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death.

Vice Adm Prachachart declined to discuss the cause, saying the autopsy report was not yet complete and it should take about a week. However, he said initial findings found no traces of narcotics in Jesadakorn's system.

The navy would investigate further if the autopsy indicated foul play, he said.

He added navy personnel did not attend Jesadakorn's funeral in Phitsanulok's Wang Thong district on April 29-May 1 due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, but they had planned to attend the cremation on Saturday.

Based on the navy's account, Jesadakorn was off duty at 10.30pm on April 27, had a meal and went to bed at 12.30am. About 1.50am, a seaman went to the bathroom and found Jesadakorn frothing at the mouth. He was rushed to the Queen Sirikit Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2.24am.

Meanwhile, Jesadakorn's parents said the cremation would be postponed pending an autopsy. "There were bruises on his body. We don't think it's suicide," said Sakhon Natesaengsri, Jesadakorn's father.

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