The suspects were identified by police as Wasin Namprom, 22, Jidarat Promkhun, 21, Preeyanuch Nonwangchai, 24, and Kawita Ratchada, 25. They are accused of premeditated murder and concealing a body.
Warisara Klinjui, 22, a Chai Nat resident who worked at a karaoke bar in Khon Kaen’s Muang district, was killed because she provided police with information which led officers to arrest members of a drug network, police sources said.
Meanwhile, reports that Mr Wasin was arrested in Udon Thani after contacting police saying he wanted to surrender were dismissed by Maj Gen Yanyong Wech-osoth, commander of the Investigation Division of the Provincial Police Region 4.
He said Mr Wasin had phoned police to say he was turning himself in, but had not been arrested yet.
Maj Gen Yanyong said police have waited for him to surrender, but he has failed to do so.
It was likely a ruse by Mr Wasin to buy time, the officer said, adding that investigators were checking on information they received that he may have skipped the country and fled to Laos.
He also denied reports that Ms Preeyanuch and Ms Kawita had been arrested in Tachilek, a border town in eastern Myanmar, and taken to the Thai border at Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.
He said police only had information the pair may have crossed the border into Myanmar on Saturday (May 27). They were said to have applied for work in karaoke bars in Tachilek, where they planned to hide, the officer said.
Ms Jidarat, meanwhile, is believed to be holed up in either Yasothon or Ubon Ratchathani, Maj Gen Yanyong said, adding the woman is thought to be preparing to flee to a neighbouring country as well.
The commander said Ms Preeyanuch’s mother was questioned as to her daughter’s whereabouts. Ms Preeyanuch lived in Ban Non Sa-nga in tambon Kham Muang of Khao Suan Kwang district, where the victim’s body was found.
Lt Col Supaluek Suwanrat, deputy superintendent of Khao Suan Kwang Police Station, said police have evidence suggesting at least two other people were involved in the murder.
The investigators were seeking warrants for their arrest.
He said nine people have been questioned in connection with the case and police have not ruled out any possibilities.
Evidence shows the four identified suspects all knew the victim, the officer said.
“Doctors will provide the victim’s autopsy results to police within 15 days,” said Lt Col Supaluek.
In the initial autopsy, Ms Warisara was reported to have died of asphyxia, which could have been because she was either strangled or suffocated.
The discovery of Ms Warisara’s dismembered body last Thursday (May 25) made headlines and was widely reported on social media.
She had gone missing days earlier but a formal complaint was only filed with police last Wednesday (May 24), shortly before her body was found.
Her body had been cut into two pieces, stuffed in black plastic bags and placed inside two open plastic containers, which were then buried in a roadside forest.
Police earlier said the victim may have been part of a love triangle which could have been the motive for the killing.
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