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“Loong Phol” gets 20 years in prison for death of toddler in Mukdahan

Written by World Events

A criminal court in Mukdahan province sentenced Chaiyaphol Wipa to 20 years in prison today, on two charges relating to the death of a three-year-old child who went missing in 2020.

Orawan Wongsricha, aka “Nong Chompoo”, who was the niece of the defendant’s wife Somporn, disappeared from her house in Dong Luang district of Mukdahan on May 11th, 2020. Three days later, her body was found naked on a hill several kilometres from her house.

14 people were initially under suspicion, 12 of whom were relatives of the victim and the rest were acquaintances. Only Chaiyaphol could not, however, confirm his whereabouts at the time of the child’s abduction.

He was also seen by two eyewitnesses in a rubber plantation, from which there was access to the location where the baby’s body was found.

Even though Chaiyaphol, known as “Loong Phol” was a suspect, the mainstream media portrayed him as a poor and naïve man. He drew unprecedented sympathy and popularity and the family’s house became a tourist attraction, drawing crowds of visitors virtually every day.

Chaiyaphol and his wife were, however, ultimately charged with causing death by negligence and taking a minor younger than 15 years from their parents.

A single strand of hair found in the car of the defendant and other circumstantial evidence led the Mukdahan provincial court to believe that Chaiyaphol was responsible for the child’s death

The Court jailed Chaiyaphol, but acquitted his wife.

The Court ordered both defendants to pay compensation to the parents of the victim.

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