BANGKOK — Police on Friday said a man already suspected of killing a 22-year-old woman might have murdered at least two more victims following a discovery of almost 300 pieces of bones in the pond behind his home.
Metro police commander Phukphong Phongpetra said investigators are gathering evidence to press additional charges against Apichai “Ice” Ongwisit, 40. He was initially arrested for drug offenses on Jan. 9, but police later accused him of killing 22-year-old Warinthorn Chaiyachet and concealing her body in a metal casket.
And now police believe he is responsible for two other murders as well, after having discovered remains of two female victims that they have to identify.
“Medical examiners are working on their identities, while police will sweep the pond thoroughly for more evidence,” Lt. Gen. Phukphong said.
Bone fragments of one of the two unidentified victims were found inside a chest buried in the pond close to his residence in Bang Khae district, while 300 pieces of human bones found scattered inside the same pond are believed to belong to the other victim.
The discovery came just days after police found the remains of 22-year-old Warinthorn inside a metal box buried in Apichai’s backyard. Apichai reportedly confessed to locking her inside the box until she suffocated to death, earning him the nickname ‘Ice the Casket Killer’ among the media.
Investigators were first alerted to the killings when one of Apichai’s accomplices in the drug offenses told police he helped Apichai to cover up the body of someone he murdered.
Pol. Col. Jirakrit Jarunpat, chief of the Women’s and Children’s Welfare Division, described Apichai as a drug user with a violent temper who forced Warinthorn to sleep in the metal box because he fell in love with her and did not want her to leave.
Apart from premeditated murder, Apichai faces charges of illegal detention and concealment of bodies.
Apichai is the son of the owner of a market in Bang Khae district. His father was arrested in 1983 for murdering and dismembering a 15-year-old girl, but he was shot dead after his release. His mother is now living abroad.