Tip from unidentified informant leads to serial killer’s arrest
A tipoff from an unidentified witness has led police to the apprehension of serial killer Somkid Poompuang on a train, bound for Ayutthaya province, at Pak Chong district railway station in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima on Wednesday morning.
Following the arrest, Pol Lt-Gen Charoenwit Sriwanich, commissioner of 4th Provincial Police Bureau, said a tipoff, received at about 8am this morning from a “good citizen” who sent phone images of a masked man believed to be Somkid, led to the capture of Thailand’s ‘Jack the Ripper’.
He said that the images were immediately checked against file photos of the suspect for confirmation and police then planned his immediate arrest, which was carried out by a large police team at the railway station.
Somkid was apprehended while he was sleeping in a carriage and taken to Pak Chong district police station before being transported to Kranuan district police in Khon Kaen, where the sixth victim, 51-year old Mrs. Rasamee Muleechan, was murdered on December 15th.
Police said that Somkid, wearing a cap and a face mask, bought train ticket at 5.21am at a quiet Buri Ram provincial railway station. The train left Buri Ram at 6.07 heading to Ayutthaya.
During initial interrogation this morning, Somkid admitted he killed Mrs. Rasamee in a fit of anger after a fierce quarrel. He claimed that he met the victim about a month ago via Facebook and planned to marry her. After the murder, the suspect said he stole the victim’s motorcycle and rode to Maha Sarakham and then Buri Ram.
Pol Lt-Gen Charoenwit said police plan to reward the informant with 50,000 baht cash in Khon Kaen province.
Crime Suppression Division police commander Pol Maj-Gen Jirapob Puridet told the media that Somkid killed his victims in fits of anger, without premeditation, adding that the suspect will be sent for psychiatric evaluation.
Five women, mostly masseuses or women who worked in night entertainment, were killed by Somkid. He was sentenced to life, but only served 14 years and was released in May this year for good behaviour in prison.