6 June 2024

The Juvenile and Family Court in Thailand’s Nakhon Pathom province today (Monday) ordered the release of the teenage mother who dumped the body of her 8-month-old baby into the Tha Chin River in February, after the public prosecutor failed to indict her within the 90-day limit.

The court also ordered the return of 9,000-baht surety, put up by the Win Win Foundation as bail for the 17-year-old mother.

Accompanied by an official from the foundation, the teenage mother appeared before the court today as scheduled, to hear the decision from the public prosecutor.

The prosecutor failed to proceed with the case to court within the deadline because he had instructed the police to investigate five additional issues and the police were unable to finish the probe until this coming Friday. The prosecutor will decide on July 25th whether to indict the teenage mother.

As such, the court ordered the release of the suspect and the return of the bail to the foundation.

The case hit the headlines on February 5th, when the baby was reported missing from its home in Bang Len district, initially thought to be an abduction. An extensive search within a five kilometre radius of the baby’s house, involving police, volunteers, sniffer dogs and underwater drones, was launched on land, in a canal and the in Tha Chin River, but there was sign of the missing baby.

Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, the deputy national chief, who oversaw the investigation, suspected that the teenage mother might have told the police whole the truth about her missing baby.

After intense interrogation, she finally admitted that she accidentally caused the baby to fall onto the floor in the house and that the child might have died in the fall. Fearing legal action, she dumped the body into the river.

In an interview with the Mirror Foundation, the teenage mother said that she had never dreamed about what she would be when she grew up, adding that her family was poor and had to live in a rented house on a fish farm. She said she never had a close friend and she was bullied at school.

“I lived alone, did everything alone. I didn’t feel I wanted to go to school. Father asked me one day why I didn’t go to school and I told him that I didn’t want to go any more. Deep down in my heart, though, I wanted to study and my grades were not bad,” according to an extract from her interview with the Mirror Foundation.