In the end, the police ruled the actress was the victim of recklessness, not murder. Her mother, well-compensated with THB30 million – said she was satisfied by the outcome and will cremate her daughter next week. The people with her when she died, while charged, remain free on bail with hearings set for next month on lesser charges.
Those were the circumstances when police announced yesterday they had closed the case of Nida “Tangmo” Patcharaveerapong, whose death became a national obsession since she fell overboard and drowned in late February. And many were not happy with how things turned out.
On Twitter, the hashtags #TangmoMustGetJustice and #ForPattaratida were trending today after investigators gave their final public report at the Provincial Police Region 1 headquarters.
Keyboard sleuths have continued to pore over details of the case and seize on “evidence” they believe proves Tangmo’s drowning death in the Chao Phraya River was not an accident.
“People will not remember TANGMO AS A WOMAN who was peeing at the back of the boat, But South East Asian countries will always remember how police investigated this case, and the 5 gang in the boat will forever be seen as suspects in their EYES,” Sulli_jilrin wrote on Twitter.
Police chief Lt. Gen. Jiraphat Phumphichit concluded that Tangmo drowned due to the recklessness of her five companions – Itsarin “Kratik” Jutasuksawat, Wisapat “Sand” Manomairat, Danupat “Por” Lerttaweewit, Paiboon “Robert” Trikanjananun, and Nitat “Job” Keeratisutthisathorn.
After initially denying wrongdoing and apparently trying to conceal their roles, Paiboon admitted to being drunk and mishandling the boat, causing the 37-year-old actress to lose her balance and fall.
All five were charged with fatal recklessness. Nitat, Paiboon, and Itsarin were also charged with falsifying evidence and giving false statements.
A sixth suspect, Peam “Em” Thamtheerasri, was also charged with helping the others conceal evidence and lie to the police.
Jiraphat said that anyone falling from the speedboat would have been sucked into the propeller and ruled that there was no evidence of foul play.
Tangmo’s body had up to 26 wounds between her thigh and ankle when it was found. The biggest wound was found in her right thigh, which authorities said matched the speedboat’s propeller.
Still, many remained skeptical, with critics slamming the police for mishandling the case.
Tangmo’s brother Dayos Dechjob was among those to express disappointment.
“If it was the boat propeller, can you prove that there are traces of blood on it?” he wrote on social media.
It didn’t help things that, by the end of the conference, two of Tangmo’s companion-suspects, Itsarin and Wisapat, posted a photo smiling in the back of a limo that appeared more smug than contrite.
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