A former wife of Songsak Songsaeng, who is accused of killing five children born to two of his four spouses, has been detained pending questioning of more witnesses in a case that has shocked the country.
Jessada Meepian, 33, was taken to the Central Women’s Correctional Institute after appearing in the Criminal Court on Saturday. The court approved a police request to detain her for 12 days as they said they have 10 more witnesses to question and are also awaiting forensic results.
Under the law, a criminal suspect can be detained for up to seven 12-day periods, or 84 days in total, before police must press charges or release them.
Neither Ms Jessada nor her relatives applied for bail.
Ms Jessada, the second wife of Mr Songsak, was arrested in connection with four deaths. She faces five charges: colluding in physical abuse causing serious injury, colluding in physical abuse causing death, concealment or destroying bodies, helping a suspect escape punishment, and altering corpses or areas where corpses were found before autopsies could be performed in a bid to conceal crimes.
Mr Songsak, 46, is in custody along with his present wife, Sunan Nahuanin, 40, for allegedly killing their 2-year-old daughter. During questioning, he reportedly admitted to killing four sons born to Ms Jessada.
The couple’s arrest came after social media influencer Kanthat Pongpaiboonvej, also known as Gun Jompalang, on Sept 10 took police to help two girls, aged 12 and 4 years, who neighbours reported had been physically assaulted by their father, Mr Songsak.
A police investigation found that Mr Songsak and Ms Sunan had also assaulted their two-year-old daughter, causing her death. They then took her body to Ms Sunan’s house in Kamphaeng Phet, where it was found buried and covered with concrete.
Songsak Songsaeng is taken to the Bang Khen police station in Bangkok on Wednesday. He and his wife Sunan Nahuanin were arrested for the murder of their 2-year-old daughter, whose body was found buried in concrete in Kamphaeng Phet. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)
The extended investigation found that Mr Songsak also physically assaulted children born to Ms Jessada, who had five children with him. She reportedly implicated him in the killing of four children, all boys.
Mr Songsak reportedly admitted to the crimes, which took place in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018.
During questioning, he claimed he did not like boys and he did not like the noises of children crying.
Police investigators said they had found evidence that Ms Jessada colluded in the crimes. The investigations reportedly revealed the following:
On Oct 9, 2013, the couple were living in a room on Phahon Yothin Soi 69 in Bang Khen district on Bangkok and Mr Songsak violently struck their son Sakda two or three times. The boy suffered convulsions and later died. He and Ms Jessada put the body into a plastic bag and dumped it in the Chatuchak area.
On Nov 11, 2014, when the couple were living on Phahon Yothin Soi 71 Lum Luk Ka district of Pathum Thani, Mr Songsak beat his son Theeraparp in the body and stomach before locking him in a TV cabinet. The boy later died. The couple put the body into a black plastic bag and dumped it in the Chatuchak area.
The third death occurred when the couple were living in a room on Phahon Yothin Soi 50 in Sai Mai district in April and May 2016. Police say they repeatedly assaulted their son Thanasap, causing serious wounds to his neck. They did not take him to hospital and he eventually died. They put the body into a plastic bag and dumped it in a deserted area of Sai Mai district.
In February 2018, at another location in Sai Mai district, Mr Songsak told Ms Jessada to stuff cloth into the mouth of their son Natthaphong. The boy suffered convulsions and was detained in a TV cabinet. He later died and the couple dumped the body in a deserted area at kilometre marker 25 on Phahon Yothin Road.
In September last year, the couple reportedly abused their daughter while they were staying in an apartment on Phahon Yothin Soi 48 in Bang Khen district. They used coat hangers to hit the girl, heated a knife and used it to harm her. The girl was also beaten in the stomach and forcibly put in water. She also had wounds to her forehead that took about five months to heal.
The girl, who survived, told police that her mother took part in the physical abuse of her and her brothers.
Police later found the bodies of two babies in the Chatuchak area. In Sai Mai, only four human bones have been found so far.
During questioning, Ms Jessada admitted to physically abusing her children and concealing the bodies, but denied taking part in the murders.
Another ex-wife comes forward
Meanwhile, another former wife of Mr Songsak has expressed shock after learning about what he was accused of doing.
The woman, identified as Jittra, 38, said she and the accused had lived together 14 years ago. One day he told her he was going to visit his sister and he never returned.
Ms Jittra said she was living in Krabi when she first met Mr Songsak, who was then a monk. They married after he left the monkhood. He forced her to register their marriage and was prone to jealousy. At those times he would become angry and physically assault her by strangling her, she said. The couple had no children.
She now has a new family with one son in Prachuap Khiri Khan and wants to divorce Mr Songsak.