Thai stepdad says wife killed son to punish boy’s father, actually

Panya Chaichiang-erm tells the authorities and reporters yesterday outside his home in Trat province that he wished his stepson woke up and went for KFC instead of dying. Image: Channel 3
Panya Chaichiang-erm tells the authorities and reporters yesterday outside his home in Trat province that he wished his stepson woke up and went for KFC instead of dying. Image: Channel 3

A Bangkok man who confessed to killing his stepson and leaving him for dead in a parked sedan now says he was just taking the fall for his beloved wife.

What started as a ghost story and turned into a Bad Stepdad tale took another twist after Panya Chaichiang-erm, 44, said that 6-year-old Sai-Fah was actually killed by his own mother. The woman, identified only as Narinrat, told the police yesterday that she was indeed the culprit.

She reportedly said it was an act of revenge against her ex-husband, the boy’s biological father.

Initially, the stepfather, Panya, had blamed the boy’s death on a sinister ghost haunting their home, which was why he slept outside in the family car.

Abusive stepdad, not ghost, killed young boy: Trat cops

When that story fell apart for obvious reasons, Panya said he took the fall was so that Narinrat could take care of their 11-month-old baby.

Laem Ngop police filed originally filed murder charges against both parents. However, after being detained in court, Panya was freed on his own recognizance as his testimony was deemed helpful. Narinrat is free on a bond.

When the cops took the two back home, they were met by a swarm of angry neighbors. They welcomed Panya home but were out for the mother’s blood. Police had to take her back to the station to save her from mob justice.

Panya said that Narinrat was in fact the abuser, and he would spirit Sai-Fah out to the car when she beat him.

Despite corroborating accounts that Panya was seen taking the child to the car, the couple’s neighbors testified that he was a kind and caring family man. And despite his fatal decision to leave an injured child overnight in a car, he has yet to be charged with any crime. Not even with  lying to the police.

Asked why he took responsibility for the crime, he told reporters it was for love, of course.

“I love her and accept everything,” he said. “If they sentence her, I will wait for her.”

He then let loose the waterworks while suggesting it was the boy’s fault for dying.

“I miss Nong Sai-Fah, but he is in a better place now,” he added tearfully. “I just want to ask him why couldn’t he wait? My boy told me he wanted to go to KFC, why couldn’t he wait?”

The police said the case isn’t fully closed, however.

Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!



Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply


BECOME A COCO+ MEMBER

Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on

This swanky “grocerant” in Langsuan is rolling out a new Sunday brunch

PRESENTED BY

MOST POPULAR