BANGKOK — Police said Friday no one has been charged yet over the death of a popular model earlier this week, in which her family suspects possible foul play.
A police spokesman said the police commissioner himself has instructed every officer involved to resolve the case. Thitima “Bell” Noraphanpiphat, 25, was found dead in a condominium lobby some time after a man was seen carrying her, unconscious, into his room.
Thitima, who had over 130,000 combined followers across two social media platforms, was described by her friends as a hardworking woman who took her modeling career seriously. She is survived by her partner, 31-year-old Nathanai Homthienthong, and a 3-year-old daughter.
A Bangkok native, Thitima started working as a pretty – or promotional model – in 2016 after graduating from Rangsit University, according to her peers. She was featured by many men’s magazines and a regular participant in model-related contests.
Apart from working as a professional MC, she has appeared on popular TV shows like “I Can See Your Voice” and several music videos.
At Thitima’s funeral on Thursday night – which would have been her 26th birthday – her friends and family members blew candles on a cake in front of her coffin. Thitima’s last Facebook post before her death said she would be working on her birthday.
Thitima’s family said they will not cremate her until an investigation into her abrupt death is completed.
CCTV footage at the condominium where she was found dead shows a man, later identified as 24-year-old Rachadech Wongtabutr, carrying her unconscious body into his room. He was seen taking her down to the lobby several hours later.
A preliminary examination suggested she died of an acute heart attack and identified signs of rape on her body. Rachadech has denied any wrongdoing.
Although some on social media suspect she might have been drugged and murdered, police spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen said Friday investigators have to gather more evidence before pressing charges against anyone.
Nevertheless, the spokesman also said the Metropolitan Police have pledged to come up with progress in the case “within the next 48 hours.”
CCTV footage showing Rachadech carrying Thitima’s unconscious body on Sept. 15-16.