DSI Say Some Bones at Nat’l Park Don’t Match Missing Activist

A file photo of Porlajee “Billy” Ray Chongcharoen’s family.
A file photo of Porlajee “Billy” Ray Chongcharoen’s family.

BANGKOK — The Department of Special Investigation said Sunday that some of the bone fragments found at a national Park may not belong to the missing Karen community rights activist as it has claimed earlier.

DSI said the bone fragments do not share the same DNA with mother of Porlajee “Billy” Ray Chongcharoen, whom investigators said was abducted and murdered in 2014. The news came just days after a high-ranking official charged with the murder accused the DSI of forging evidence against him and his aides.

But department chief Paisit Wongmuang said at least one piece of the human remains found at Kaeng Krachan National Park was already proven to belong to Porlajee.

“Preliminary investigation found that nine bone fragments do not belong to Porlajee,” Paisit said. “We will consult with forensic officers in detail to differentiate them with the fragment of skull, which we have already confirmed that its DNA matched with Porlajee’s mother.”

Paisit did not speculate who the bones might belong to. A spokesman for the DSI could not be reached for comment as of publication.

A total of 20 bone fragments were found in May inside a partially submerged 200-liter oil tank at the national park in Phetchaburi province. The DSI said at the time the bones belonged to Porlajee.

The department later filed murder charge against four men, including then-director of Kaeng Krachan National Park Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn and three of his aides. Chaiwat denied the allegations.

Chaiwat also told the media that the DSI forged test results of the bone fragments to falsely implicate him.

The four suspects are currently released on bail.

Activists had previously accused then-director Chaiwat of engineering the disappearance of the Karen activist. He and his aides briefly detained Billy on April 17, 2014 to reprimand him for “wild honey theft,” but insisted they later released him without harming him.

Billy, a campaigner for community rights, has not seen ever since the alleged detention.

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