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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Autopsy report confirms arrested drug suspect in Nakhon Sawan died of suffocation

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A recently released autopsy report confirmed that Jirapong Thanaphiphat, the man who died in police custody in northern Thailand’s Nakhon Sawan province, was suffocated and not a drug overdose.  

The same hospital, Sawanpracharak Hospital, initially supported the police report of the man’s death that he died of a drug overdose, according to a Thai newspaper.

Jirapong’s body was cremated earlier this month, but with a leaked video of his apparent death and an investigation into the incident, Sawanpracharak Hospital was ordered to hand over medical records to authorities.

The hospital released another autopsy report yesterday that says Jirapong died of asphyxiation, likely caused by the plastic bags placed over his head, as seen in the now-infamous video. The news sparked a response from the deputy head of the Crime Suppression Division, Anek Taosuphap, who says she has read the report and is investigating the matter further.

The day after Jirapong died, the Sawanpracharak Hospital stated that the victim likely died due to high levels of amphetamines detected in his urine. After the release of the video showing officers placing a bag over the suspect’s head, the hospital was investigated more closely for allegedly falsifying the report to release police officers from the alleged murder of Jirapong.

Last week, the hospital protested that the initial autopsy report was just an “initial finding” and did not reflect an official report. The hospital stated that Jirapong was brought to them on August 6 and that police claimed the victim had collapsed and died while trying to escape police custody.

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