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IT WAS JUST five days before her wedding when 25-year-old bride-to-be Nontiya Krowjatturat’s body was found on her bed in Chumphon’s Tha Sae district with a shotgun wound to her chest.
Family and friends of Nontiya, a dental official at a community hospital, woke up to face the tragedy on Tuesday morning as they were preparing to attend the wedding ceremony between Nontiya and Ronnachai Panchart, 26, an official with the Provincial Electricity Authority, which was scheduled for Sunday.
Police turned their attention to Ronnachai after the father of the bride revealed that his daughter had discovered that her fiance had been engaged in an affair with another woman, whose name was not revealed.
The father said his daughter had told him two months ago that Ronnachai wanted to cancel the wedding, but she had refused. A heated argument led to Ronnachai assaulting her.
During the period, she posted on her Facebook page: “I’m tired”, “I’m annoyed” and “I’m desperate”.
Police said they summoned Ronnachai who, after an interrogation, gave in and confessed.
The cover of Nontiya’s Facebook yesterday still displayed her pre-wedding photo with Ronnachai, both smiling and happy. Earlier Nontiya had also posted her wedding card, inviting her friends to join her on her happy day.
Nurse Sangduen Taothong, 39, whose room was next to Nontiya’s, told police that Nontiya worked at the hospital for about four years and was in love with Ronnachai before he was hired by the PEA.
“Ronnachai is a quiet man but they had frequent arguments lately after she found out that he had another woman, who is younger and richer, in Lang Suan district. Nontiya tried to break up with him many times but he won her back after promising to end his relationship with that woman,” she said.
On Monday night, Sangduen said, she heard a loud argument but did not pay much attention as the couple had quarrelled frequently.
“I fell asleep but was woken up at about 1am by the sound of gunfire. I was afraid of going to her room. So I knocked on her door at about 9.30am, because she had not left the room. No one answered the door, so I opened the door and found her on the bed, dead. So I alerted police,” Sangduen said.
Pol Maj-General Sontichai Awattanakulthep, Chumphon police commander, said Ronnachai initially denied being involved with the death of his girlfriend, although he admitted that he had another girlfriend.
Police escorted him to his house in Lang Suan and found clothes and a hood that was the same as the one worn by the man captured by the security cameras near Nontiya’s house.
Sontichai said Ronnachai confessed after police found the evidence, saying that he was angry because Nontiya had not only refused to cancel the wedding but had also followed and threatened him and his new girlfriend, urging them to break up.
According to Ronnachai, he decided to kill Nontiya and his new girlfriend picked him up after the murder.
Sontichai said Ronnachai would be charged with premeditated murder, possessing a gun without a licence and carrying a pistol in public without permission.