Giuseppe de Stefani
Police have launched an extensive search for a Thai woman and French man suspected of murdering the woman’s Italian ex-boyfriend and burning his body in a forest in Phichit province.
The charred remains of Giuseppe de Stefani, an Italian national, was found on Friday in a forest near Laem Rang Subdistrict Administration Organization close to a freshwater pond in Bueng Na Rang district of the northern province.
“The body had been dismembered. We found only a torso, two arms and a right leg at the scene,” Tawatchai Muannara told Thai media. The torched body made it difficult for police to identify the victim. Ironically, the daughter of one of the suspects, Ms Rutjira Iamlamai>, recognised the tattoo on the deceased’s right leg, and was able to identify the victim as 61-year-old Giuseppe de Stefani.
At 09:00 on January 22, Pol Maj Gen Tawatchai Muannara, superintendent of Phichit Provincial Police Station, held a press conference in Bueng Na Rang. In his statement, he announced that police are looking for Rutjira Iamlamai, 32, and her 24-year-old French boyfriend, Amuary Rigaud,> as potential suspects.
The couple was last seen on January 21 in the driveway of the victim’s house which belongs to Mrs Rutjira. According to local residents, they spent “unusually long time washing their car”, a bronze Toyota Yaris with a Samut Songkhram licence plate.
Mrs Rutjira’s mother told police her daughter and her French boyfriend had gone to Bangkok, a possibility that Pol Maj Gen Tawatchai found unlikely. “We believe they have already left the country through the border in the north.”
While inspecting the now empty residence, 314/2 Mu 12 in Laem Rang subdistrict, forensic investigators bagged several items as evidence – among them charcoal and firewood. Officers also found a letter addressed to Mrs Rutjira which read: “You told me that you loved me only because you wanted money. I have never met a bad person like you before.”
A broader investigation into Mrs Rutjira’s life revealed that she is married to a Thai man with whom she has had two children. Despite being separated, Mrs Rutjira had never divorced her husband. She was, nevertheless, reportedly involved in an adulterous relation with both men and had been living with Mr Amuary at the time of the murder.
“Our top priority now is to find the two suspects and to uncover their motive,” Pol Maj commented Gen Tawatchai. Police have said that more individuals may be involved in this murder. In a statement, Gen Tawatchai stated: “We have viewed CCTV footage from the area which shows more than one vehicle leaving the scene where Mr Stefani’s body was found. We also received reports of possible drug involvement.”
The investigation continues.
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