UPDATE: It was announced this afternoon that police in Pattaya have detained a Lithuanian man in relation to this case. The man was previously widely reported to be a Russian national. See full update here.
The body of Thiraphong Lamluea, 31, was found inside a closed room at her two-storey house in tambon Kang-an around 4:30pm yesterday, reports the Bangkok Post.
Pol Capt Sanee Chimngam, a duty officer at Prasat, said the body was wrapped in a thick blanket that left her legs bare. There was a strong smell and it was believed she had been dead at least a week.
Thiraphong’s mother, Wandee Lamluea, 47, said neighbours told her that there was a nasty odour, like a dead animal, coming from her son’s house. She called a local rescue team to inspect the house.
They found drag marks on the floor and traces of hair and bloodstains outside the door to a spare room. She opened the door and found her son, a transgender woman, lying dead under a blanket.
She had three children and Thiraphong was the eldest and the main breadwinner of the family. He had been romantically involved with a Russian man for 6-7 months. They met in Phuket.
Thiraphong had brought his Russian lover to Prasat district twice, in January and late May, she said. During the first visit they stayed at a hotel. On the second visit they stayed at her son’s house.
She said the Russian had stayed at Thiraphong’s house for one week. He drank a lot of beer. On May 26 the man had brought a box of beer to her house and he drank it with her. She noticed what looked like bloodstains on his legs, and she also saw some bruises.
He had said a bottle had toppled and broken and pieces of it hit his legs, Ms Wandee said. She had no reason to doubt him and they drank together until about 9pm, when he left. Thiraphong had not joined them.
Around 2am the next day she got up to go to the market and passed Thiraphong’s house. She did not see the car her son had rented and driven from Ubon Ratchathani province. She assumed they had left together.
She was shocked to discover yesterday that Thiraphong had been killed. A Pitbull dog had also disappeared and she suspected it had been killed and buried somewhere.
According to Ms Wandee, police has surveillance camera footage showing the rented car left at the Prasat district bus terminal. The Russian man was seen boarding a bus to Rayong.
She said Thiraphong also had a British boyfriend. They had known each other for seven years. He lived in the UK and had not returned to Thailand for a long time. She suspected the Russian man was jealous of him.
Ms Wandee said Thiraphong’s head had been beaten and she believed the killer had hit him with a bottle.
She said she learned from police that the suspect was spotted in Pattaya and they expected to locate him soon. Police were seeking a court arrant for the man’s arrest, she said.
Neigbhours today helped set up tents in front of the house to prepare for funeral rites.