National police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda instructed officers to probe the matter thoroughly after the deceased’s father said he suspected foul play, police spokesman Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said on Tuesday.
Bhumibol Hospital’s initial autopsy found no wounds on the body of Pongpet’s girlfriend, 27-year-old Suphanee Sinanantrakool, hence it was likely that she had died of smoke inhalation during the fire, Krissana said.
With her father Banyat Sinanantrakool, 61, having told police on Monday that he was doubtful about whether Suphanee’s death was an accident or a case of murder, Krissana said police investigators were as of press time still gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses while still waiting for a full and formal autopsy report, as the forensic test results should help clear all doubts.
After Kukot police received a fire report at 10.50pm on Sunday, firefighters tried for 30 minutes to put out the blaze, and later found Suphanee’s body in a bathroom on the second floor.
The fire, which apparently started in the second floor’s prayer room, damaged four rooms on the same floor.
Damage to the property is estimated as Bt1 million.
Police initially found that at the time of the blaze there were eight people in the house, including Suphanee, who was taking a bath when the fire trapped her.
Banyat told reporters on Monday that he hoped that the full autopsy result would soon clarify this, as he recalled that she had allegedly often fought with Pongphet, who he claimed to be prone to violence, which had once made him consider filing an assault complaint against the former singer.
He said the couple’s fights also sometimes led to a threat of “burning things”, and this might have been what had happened on Sunday, but had got out of hand and escalated into a house fire.
Banyat, claiming that the initial autopsy showed Suphanee had sustained seven or eight bruises, has said he will not cremate his daughter’s body until the investigation clears up any doubts over her death.
Meanwhile, Pongphet’s younger sister, Pongcomphoo, told police on Monday that she had returned home at 7pm on Sunday, to find five other people in the house – her sister, parents, uncle and aunt – but she did not at the time know that Pongphet and Suphanee were there too.
She said that she and her sister were on a Facebook Live broadcast selling goods from their second-floor bedroom at 9pm and had turned on loud music, when they later saw smoke coming into the room and came out to find the house was on fire.
She heard a woman scream “Hot!” and ran toward the sound to help her in the dark, as the fire had caused a blackout, but it was too searingly hot for her to do so, so she fled downstairs and called for help.
Pongcomphoo told police that no one at the time had known for sure whether Suphanee was in the bathroom or the bedroom at the time the blaze took hold.
She tearfully said that she was saddened about what happened and understood that Suphanee’s family may have doubts, because everyone in the house survived except for their daughter.
She said she believed the fire was an accident, as the house had already had electrical issues since the 2011 flood.
Pongphet had told her that he tried to help Suphanee three times, but the flames were too strong, Pongcomphoo added.
Published : December 18, 2018
By : The Nation