Parents Demand Police Enquiry After Another Suspicious Death at Army Camp

Thai Army

Two parents are pressing police to investigate the supposed hanging death of their son at an army camp in Khon Kaen last week.

It was the second reported hanging involving an army private in less than a week.

On 6th November, Pte Pitchawat Wiangnont was found dead in a bathroom at the 27th Military Circle in Roi Et. Pitchawat’s parents called for an independent autopsy to be carried out amid army claims he hanged himself.

In the latest tragedy, Surachai Senasanit, 43, and his wife, Ulai Tuayma, 42, met Pol Lt Col Anuchit Phadungchart, chief of Yoi Sila police station in Muang district of Khon Kaen yesterday to ask about the death of their son, Pte Rachata Senasanit, 21.

Pte Rachata was found hanged in a shed by a pond inside an army camp in the province on 1st November.

Mr Senasanit said after speaking to the police that he did not believe his only son took his own life. He asked the police to look into the death as he did not believe the army camp’s explanation that his son hanged himself.

Mr Senasanit said his son had always wanted to be a soldier. He volunteered to join the army and began basic training at the camp on 1st September. His parents picked him up at the camp and took him home at the start of a leave period on 12th October. Ten days later, Rachata returned to the barracks to resume his training.

On 1st November, the army camp called the family to say Rachata had been found dead, according to Mr Senasanit who visited the morgue at a hospital in central Khon Kaen where his son’s body was taken.

Mr Senasanit said Rachata’s forehead and arms were bloodied. The loincloth police identified as having been used in the hanging also did not belong to his son, Mr Senasanit added. “What I saw raises a great deal of suspicion. I want the police to investigate the cause of my son’s death for the sake of justice,” he said.

Mr Senasanit said his son had a cheerful disposition and did not suffer from depression. On 31st October, the day before Rachata was found dead, Mr Senasanit said he and his son were texting each other via the Line chat application.

He said his son gave no indication he was planning suicide and that the army had sent his son’s body for autopsy without the family’s consent.