A 40-year-old teacher has been found dead at the bottom of a pond with her body weighed down by several cement bricks on Friday evening.
Wanida Omthet, 40, was reported missing in central Thailand’s Phetchaburi province two weeks ago. A 38-year-old soldier, Sgt Maj 1st Class Surin Pramnoi, has been charged with her murder.
Pol Maj Gen Uthai Kawindechathorn, chief of the Phetchaburi police station, said that Sgt Maj 1st Class Surin allegedly admitted to killing the school teacher on Friday.
Ms. Wanida Omthet was a teacher at a non-formal education school in the Kaeng Krachan district of Phetchaburi.
Wanida and her Toyota Revo pickup truck had not been seen since the night of May 26. Wanida’s relatives filed a missing person report with the local police station.
Investigators questioned her relatives and friends before focusing their attention on Sgt Maj Surin, according to Pol Maj Gen Uthai.
Soldier quarreled with teacher
He initially admitted that he had quarreled with her because he was jealous. Later, the teacher’s vehicle was found at the home of a neighbor. According to the homeowner, the soldier had pawned it for money.
After contacting the soldier’s commander, investigators took the suspect into custody for questioning. During a heated argument, he allegedly lost his temper and strangled her in her vehicle on May 26.
As he didn’t know what to do with the corpse, he dumped it in a pond in a banana field behind his home in Tambon Don Yang, Muang district, Phetchaburi. He then pawned her Toyota Revo to get money to pay off his debts.
Around 10.30 pm on Thursday, forensic police and rescue divers recovered her body from the pond. Several bricks, leaf springs, and a meter-long length of railway steel were used to weigh down her body.
Pol Maj Gen Uthai said the body of the victim had partially decomposed in the water, but forensic examiners noticed signs of knife wounds on her chest, stomach, and back.
In addition to murder charges, a body concealment charge was filed against the soldier. He was held for legal action by the police.