Panuruj Petchai, 60, died after his red Toyota Corona slammed into the side of a pickup truck in a U-turn lane on the bypass road at about 10:50am yesterday. Panuruj died at the scene in the high-speed impact. (See story here.)
At the time, police believed Panuruj was driving back to his home province of Nakhon Sri Thammarat.
Dash cam footage from Panuruj’s car showed that his car swerved a little only after it was too late to avoid the impact.
However, only after the accident were Wichit Police alerted to a woman found murdered at her home in Phuket Villa 5 Wichit, explained Lt Sirinya Klaisombat of the Wichit Police.
The officers were called to the house after neighbours reported hearing a loud argument followed by silence.
The woman, Thipyaporn “Kai” Thipmanee, 50, from Phattalung, was found with a stab wound in the middle of her back. Blood was through trailed throughout the house.
Officers found a sharp knife covered with blood at the front of the home, Lt Sirinya explained.
“Neighbours told police that Panuruj and Thipyaporn lived together at the home,” said Lt Sirinya.
“The couple had been arguing recently over financial difficulties,” she added.
By 6pm last night police had tracked through CCTV that the suspect last seen leaving the house was driving a red sedan registered in Nakhon Sri Thammarat with licence plates Kor Yor 1345 – the very same licence registration of the red Toyota Corona that Panuruj was driving when he died in the bypass road collision.
“It is only after learning this sequence of events that we came to realise that Panuruj might well have intentionally driven his car into the pickup to kill himself to escape his crime,” Lt Sirinya said.