By The Nation
Ronnakorn Romruen, a resident of the island’s Moo 2 village who was swiftly arrested after the tourist’s body was found with a broken neck and serious wounds to her face and head on Sunday evening, confessed to the crime and the re-enactment had gone well, Chon Buri deputy superintendent Pol Colonel Sakrapee Priewpanich said.
The man reportedly confessed that he had seen the victim, whom he described as “a good-looking woman travelling alone”, and become sexually aroused after taking illicit drugs.
He followed the woman and later killed her by hitting her with a rock after raping her, in order to prevent her reporting the attack, he reportedly told police.
Police charged Ronnakorn with premeditated murder, rape and hiding a body to conceal the crime.
Ronnakorn was escorted by 40 police officers to perform the re-enactment at 10am, while many onlookers expressed their disgust at his alleged acts.
He showed police five spots related to the crime, the first being where he had parked his motorcycle to buy flowers and followed the victim to the hilltop site where the flag of King Rama V is mounted.
The second spot was where he had allegedly raped the woman and forced her to perform oral sex, which had given her the opportunity to flee down the stairway.
The third location was where the victim had fallen, and the suspect had reportedly attacked her with a rock until she died.
The fourth spot was where he had supposedly hidden her body under a pile of rocks near a stairway leading to the hilltop.
The final location was a flower stall, where a witness had asked why his shirt was bloodstained.
He had brushed aside the question and quickly fled the scene, according to police.
The victim, who entered Thailand late last month and was lodging in Pattaya, had visited Koh Si Chang at noon on Sunday.
Ahead of police bringing Ronnakorn to appear before Chon Buri Provincial Court to apply for his first 12-day detention, his mother Nonglak Phosaeng, 43, took some clothes for her son to Koh Si Chang police station and made a tearful apology to the public over his alleged crime.
She said her son, who lived alone in a separate rented house, was single and made a living as a part-time garbage collector.
She had today told Ronnakarn – “a quiet man who kept himself to himself listening to music and watching movies”, and whom she could not imagine committing such a horrible crime – to accept the punishment for what he had apparently done.
A local food vendor said the rape and murder had affected the island’s tourism as many foreign visitors had left following the news.
“This crime has shaken public morale. I’ve never seen such a horrible crime on Koh Si Chang in the past 37 years,” she said, urging Thai and foreign tourists to visit the island again.
A Thai female tourist said the case had saddened her and would make her more cautious while travelling.