Police hunt continues for fugitive forest ranger in Buri Ram

Police hunt continues for fugitive forest ranger in Buri Ram

Police and forestry officials continue the hunt for fugitive forest ranger Phitphirun Phiraphop, 45, in Buri Ram on Tuesday. (Photo: Surachai Piragsa)
Police and forestry officials continue the hunt for fugitive forest ranger Phitphirun Phiraphop, 45, in Buri Ram on Tuesday. (Photo: Surachai Piragsa)

BURI RAM: The manhunt continued for a third day on Tuesday for a forest ranger who allegedly burst into his estranged wife's house and opened fire with a shotgun, killing her 20-year-old son by a previous marriage as she and her new husband fled.

More than 100 police from Nakhon Ratchasima-based Provincial Police Region 3 office, local police and forestry officials were tracking down Phitphirun Phiraphop, 45.

Mr Phitphirun is a senior ranger at Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary in southern Buri Ram province. He was believed to be hiding in forest in or near the sanctuary.

Natthapong Anthaisong, 20, was shot dead late on Sunday night. He was the eldest of two sons by a previous marriage of Mr Phitphirun's estranged wife Kalaya Anthaisong, 37. 

They had been together about two years. He was allegedly violent and jealous, and she left him a month ago.

Ms Kalaya, her new boyfriend, her youngest son and her mother fled safely from her home,  in Pakham district in the southwest of Buri Ram province.

Mr Phitphirun arrived at the house in tambon Huthamnop in a Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary pickup truck in the early hours of March 13.  He allegedly burst into the house and opened fire wildly with a shotgun, also taken from the sanctuary.

His ex-wife’s son was shot in the neck and died on the spot as the family fled in terror. 

The pickup was found abandoned at Lam Nang Rong reservoir in nearby Non Din Daeng district on Monday.

As the hunt entered its third day on Tuesday, the fugitive remained elusive. The stolen shotgun had also not been found. 

Police at Non Din Daeng warned local residents to be extra cautious. Mr Phitphirun was viewed as being a dangerous person who committed a serious crime and was believed to be armed.

The cremation of the dead victim was being held in Pakham district on Tuesday, with uniformed and plainclothes police present to ensure mourners' safety.

Non Din Daeng police station photo of the wanted man, Phitphirun Phiraphop, 45, posted Facebook with a warning to local residents to be extra cautious as the suspect is believed armed. (Photo taken from Non Din Daeng police Facebook page)

The pickup truck taken from the wildlife sanctuary by the wanted man is found  abandoned in Non Din Daeng district, Buri Ram, on Monday. (Photo: Surachai Piragsa)



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