Ex-sergeant admits to strangling victim

A former army sergeant yesterday confessed to police that he strangled to death a young woman and burned her body three years ago.

Polkrit Wiset was arrested on Sunday in Nakhon Ratchasima over the abduction of Ploynarin Palipol, then 22, after the victim’s mother Patcharee Punthong lodged a complaint.

The abduction allegedly took place in May 2014, in front of a factory in Ayutthaya’s Tha Rua district where Ploynarin had been working and was last seen with Mr Polkrit.

An arrest warrant was issued for Mr Polkrit that year after CCTV footage showed him escorting Ploynarin to a car. Mr Polkrit was later cashiered from the military.

The three-year-old case gained traction recently after the victim’s family filed a petition with the Damrongtham complaint centre asking it to put pressure on the police to accelerate the probe into their daughter’s disappearance.

Pol Maj Gen Sombat Milinthachinda, deputy chief of the 1st Provincial Police Region overseeing Ayutthaya and Saraburi, yesterday said police investigators are gathering evidence to substantiate charges of murder and unlawful concealment of a dead body against Mr Polkrit.

Police will today seek another arrest warrant from the court against the former army sergeant on charges of premeditated murder.

Shortly after his arrest on Sunday, Mr Polkrit confessed to strangling the victim to death before burning her body in Kaeng Khoi district of Saraburi.

He told investigators he had murdered Ploynarin in a fit of jealousy.

Investigators said Mr Polkrit drove to pick Ploynarin up in front of a factory where she worked in Ayutthaya’s Tha Rua district and pleaded with her not to end their relationship.

However, Ploynarin refused to talk to him and a quarrel ensued when Ploynarin used a pocket knife to stab Mr Polkrit in the left arm.

Mr Polkrit allegedly told investigators that he was injured and seized the knife from Ploynarin and strangled her to death.

He then drove to a military camp to collect three tyres and three bottles of petrol, with which he burnt her body.

Yesterday, Ploynarin’s mother Patcharee was accompanied by police to inspect the crime site in Kaeng Khoi district where Mr Polkrit said he burned the body. Ms Patcharee fainted when she saw the alleged crime scene.

According to police, she said she was confident charred bones found soon after the alleged murder were her daughter’s.

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