SUNDAY, February 25, 2024

Police seek links between 'cyanide killer' and 10 mysterious deaths

Police seek links between 'cyanide killer' and 10 mysterious deaths

Police have tracked down 10 victims suspected to have been killed by a woman who was charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday, a source familiar with the matter revealed on Wednesday.

Sararat “Am” Rangsiwuthaporn, 35, was arrested by crime suppression police officers at the Chaeng Watthana Government Complex in Bangkok on Tuesday. Police also found a bottle of cyanide in her possession.

Meanwhile, the source said that police have compiled a list of 10 individuals who died of heart-related conditions after making contact with Sararat. These victims were between the ages of 33 and 44, and the deaths occurred between December 2020 and April 2023.

The places where the victims had died included Nakhon Pathom, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, and Phetchaburi provinces, all in the western region of Thailand, with the exception of a 35-year-old man who died in the Northeast province of Udon Thani in March this year.

Families of most of the victims reported money or jewellery missing from the deceased’s body or bank account. The sums missing ranged from 60,000 to 300,000 baht.

A 36-year-old woman has also been tracked down who said she felt a tightness in her chest and had lost feeling in her hands after she took a pill offered by Sararat at a mall in Kanchanaburi. She was immediately sent to the hospital and is now safe. The woman had reportedly loaned 250,000 baht to Sararat earlier.

Pol Maj-General Montri Theskhan, chief of the Crime Suppression Division, said on Wednesday that investigators and forensic staff are checking these cases to find evidence and a definite connection with Sararat.

Police are also looking to file other related charges against the suspect, including theft, he added.

Police seek links between 'cyanide killer' and 10 mysterious deaths

“If the evidence shows she has committed other murders, then the suspect will fit the description of a serial killer,” Montri added.

A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more persons, with murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant period of time between them.

On Wednesday Sararat’s lawyer said her client has denied all charges. She has also experienced stress while under police custody for several hours, with blood pressure rising to 170-220.

Sararat is also pregnant, her lawyer said.

She was arrested on Tuesday in line with an arrest warrant that had been issued against her based on CCTV footage of her companion collapsing and later dying.

Kanchanaburi businesswoman, Niphawan Khanwong, 32, had reportedly joined Sararat on a trip to a temple in Ratchaburi’s Ban Pong district on April 14, when she suddenly collapsed and died soon after. Autopsy results showed heart failure as the cause of death.

The victim’s mother later filed a police report saying her daughter’s money and jewellery had gone missing.

The mother said she suspected murder as Sararat had recently befriended her daughter, who was known to be wealthy.

She also decided to take the case directly to deputy police chief, Pol General Surachate “Big Joke” Hakpal, because she was afraid the case would be tampered with if taken to Ratchaburi police. Sararat’s former husband is the deputy superintendent at the Ratchaburi Police Station.