Police in Chiang Mai province today sought an arrest warrant for a Song Thaew driver on suspicion of murdering a millionaire and stuffing her body in a refrigerator.
Chom Thong district police, responsible for investigating the case, identified the suspect as 39-year old Vitoon Sritabutr, alias Tum, a driver of yellow Song Thaew bus plying for trade in Chom Thong district.
The victim, 58-year old Ms. Wannee Chikracharoenying, was found dead on Sunday by police in a fridge at her house in Chom Thong, after her relatives filed a missing person report.
According to the police, the victim's hands and legs were bound and her body was placed in the fridge and covered with cement with the fridge still running. The CCTV system in the house was also removed, as well as her BMW car and cell phone, thought to have been stolen by the perpetrator(s).
Police said that a relative received a phone call from the victim's cell phone, with the caller claiming that the victim had gone abroad. Police checks of footage from several CCTV cameras in Chiang Mai, however, show a man, identified later as Vitoon, withdrawing cash at several different ATMs using the victim's ATM card.
The breakthrough came on Sunday, when the victim's brother, Mr. Woraphan, went to the house to check but found the door locked. He sought police help to open the house. Chom Thong police were also alerted by neighbours, who complained of foul smell coming from one of the houses in Village 3, Tambon Ban Luang.
Police said the victim had been dead for about two weeks.
A native of Samut Prakan province, Ms. Wannee was a regular visitor to Wat Phra Sri Chom Thong for meditation. She was also reported to have donated a van to the temple.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)