The case of a father who has ten children and is suspected of murdering half of them has shaken Thai society once more. This disturbing incident sheds light not only on the violence of parents against their children, but also on Thailand’s greater problem of violence against children.
The story came to light when a 12-year-old child broke the door of her room at an apartment in Soi Phaholyothin 48, Bang Khen District, Bangkok, and fled to ask neighbours for help, saying she and her younger sister were being attacked by her father.
A neighbour then reported this matter to Gun Jom Phalang, or Kanthat Pongpaiboonwej, a well-known influencer and volunteer who often goes to help those in need. He coordinated with authorities from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security on September 10 to rescue the girls.
They found that the 12-year-old girl had been physically abused and had multiple injuries, while the 4-year-old girl was immersed in water. Both girls had burns on their bodies from exposure to fire. The whereabouts of the 2-year-old child remain unknown.
At that time, the child’s mother claimed her older daughter was mentally unstable and likes to harm herself, but a physical examination by a doctor confirmed that the child had been abused.
The authorities then reported the case to Bang Khen police, who conducted an investigation and arrested Mr. Songsak Songsaeng, 46, and Ms. Sunan Nahuanil, 40, the children’s father and mother. Witness statements indicated frequent domestic violence in the family.
Both later confessed that the father killed the 2-year-old child and buried the body, while the mother bought the cement to cover the body on May 21 near his home in Khanu Woralaksaburi district, Kamphaeng Phet Province.
The police took the two suspects on a helicopter to the place in Kamphang Phet, where they buried the girl’s body and found her body. The two suspects were then handed over to Bang Khen Police Station to be questioned about the motive.
Songsak told the media on the way to the police station that he was suffering from a psychiatric disorder.
Shocking stories have emerged since this man confessed to killing four other children.
The investigation shows that Songsak has ten children, from four wives. Of these children, 4 boys are from the second wife have not yet been found. Songsak’s second wife, named Jetsada, later revealed that Songsak had killed them all between 2013 and 2018, when they were all babies less than a year old.
The police officers therefore searched and found two child bodies in the Bang Sue District and are still searching in Sai Mai District for the other two.
The police will also look into his background and whether he has any other children with other women.
Kanchana Silpa-archa, an advisor to the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security who is overseeing the case, said the two rescued children are now under the care of the ministry to ensure their safety. They are currently receiving physical care and will be psychologically rehabilitated in the future.
“I urge the public to watch out for the children. Don’t look at it as someone else’s family matter. If the children survive the violence without help, they might grow up to be damaged treasures of society. This will become an inhumane, vicious cycle because they were abused before. This will be the bad legacy of Thai society. We need to put an end to it and help them recover,” Kanchana said.
Statistics from the Ministry of Public Health show that more than 10,000 children receive medical treatment each year for injuries caused by violence, especially sexual violence. UNICEF Data show that 3 out of 4 children between the ages of 1 and 14 have experienced physical or psychological violence by family members.