Manhunt for forest ranger wanted for murder

Manhunt for forest ranger wanted for murder

Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary office in Buri Ram's Non Din Daeng district. (Photo: Surachai Piragsa)
Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary office in Buri Ram's Non Din Daeng district. (Photo: Surachai Piragsa)

BURI RAM: A large police hunt has been launched for a forest ranger who broke into his estranged wife's house in Pakham district and allegedly shot dead her 20-year-old adopted son early on Sunday.

The wanted man is Pitpiroon Pirapop, 45, leader of a forestry team at Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary in Non Din Daeng district.

According to police, he forced his way into the home of his former wife Kalaya Anthaisong, 37, in tambon Hu Thamnop in Pakham district in the southwest of the province.

She had left him about a month ago.

Mr Pitpiroon was armed with a shotgun which belonged to the wildlife sanctuary office and had arrived in a pickup also owned by the sanctuary and also intended only for official use. 

Mr Pitpiroon allegedly broke into the house in the early hours and opened fire seemingly at random. Ms Kalaya, her new boyfriend Sura Kraison, 44, and her adopted sons fled for their lives.

One of the adopted sons, Nathapong Anthaisong, 20, was hit in the neck by a shotgun blast and killed.

After the attack, Mr Pitpiroon fled in the pickup. He was believed to have gone into hiding in Dong Yai forest inside the wildlife sanctuary.

About 50 police from Pakham and Non Din Daeng districts and wildlife sanctuary officials were assigned on Sunday to the hunt for Mr Pitpiroon.

The Nang Rong District Court issued a warrant for his arrest on multiple charges including premeditated murder, attempted murder and illlegally having in his possession and using a gun and ammunition.

Angkhan Rojanabundhit, an official at Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary, said Mr Pitpiroon had been a ranger there for 26 years. He was quiet and drank occasionally but had never been violent, he said.

Mr Angkhan said Mr Pitpiroon never talked to him about his family or personal problems.

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