Criminologists doubt teenage mother’s claim that she put her baby in a canal

Two Thai criminologists say they doubt the claim by the teenage mother of the missing 8-month-old boy, who claims to have disposed of her child in a canal near home in Nakhon Pathom province.

Dr. Trynh Phoraksa, a lecturer in criminology at the Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology at Mahidol University, told Thai PBS that he doubts Nim’s claim because of her background of domestic violence and bullying since childhood, which is the environment that could force her to become a habitual liar for her own survival, to avoid being bullied or assaulted.

From her interview with the Mirror Foundation, he explained that the surroundings in which Nim has been living since childhood, the poverty and the fact that she was often bullied at school, her loneliness and without anyone to depend on or trust were the main factors behind her suspicious statement.

Regarding the manslaughter charge, filed against her by the police, Dr. Trynh noted that there is no evidence to substantiate her claim that the baby died accidentally after a fall from her arms while being bathed.

He said the police should not dismiss other options, as they have not found the baby yet and cannot confirm if he is still alive or not, or the charge of concealing a body, which is yet to be proven with eyewitness accounts and forensic evidence.

Another criminologist, Associate Professor Dr. Krisanaphong Poothakool, assistant rector of Rangsit University, said that he detected something suspicious in Nim’s initial story that the baby had been taken away from her by a man wearing a yellow shirt, which she then changed to the story of the accidental fall.

He said that he is not sure that her alleged confession can be trusted, given the violence in her background since childhood. Then he cited the case of “Ice Heep Lek”, an alleged serial killer, who was accused of torturing and killing several women and putting them in iron boxes to conceal the crime.

Ice Heep Lek, real name Apichai, also had a violent upbringing. His father was accused of killing and dismembering a young girl and was shot dead after he was released from prison by a gunman, allegedly hired by his mother who fled the country.

Asked whether Nim could turn over a new leaf, Krisanaphong said it depends on “how much a white cloth is tainted; if it is tainted with ink, it could be washed out but, if it is tainted with several layers of pollutants, then there is no way for the cloth to turn white again.”

The teenage mother has asked for forgiveness, hoping that she will be given a chance to start a new life and return to school.


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