Family bury autopsy results with young cadet
The family of an 19-year-old army recruit has decided not to make public the results of his autopsy as his remains were to be scattered Monday.
Sunday afternoon was the second cremation held for Pakapong Tanyakan, whose body was secreted away by his family last month on suspicion they weren’t told the real reason for his death. The discovery that many of his vital organs were missing led the family to call out the military and have his body examined independently.
The Tankayan family, including Pakapong’s parents and sister declined to disclose the results of the autopsy report from the Central Institute of Forensic Science to the public.
Pichet Tanyakan, The teen cadet’s father who had excoriated top military officials including the deputy junta leader, thanked the public for its support and said only that the family would take a rest for some time.
The family hasn’t spoken publicly since late November, when the military reportedly lobbied them to stop speaking publicly in what has become a major embarrassment for the military government.
Calls to Pakapong’s sister Supicha Tanyakan on Monday were not returned.
Pakapong was cremated at Wat Wiwaekaram in Chonburi’s Si Racha district. The simple religious ceremony was attended by Pakapong’s family members and close friends. His high school friends sang “The Impossible Dream” to say farewell.
Pakapong’s ashes will be released into the sea in Sattahip on Monday.
He died back in October from what the military described as “sudden heart failure” one day after returning from home to the Armed Forces Preparatory School, an elite military academy.
Suspicions about his death became public in late November after the family discovered the missing organs. Following a public outcry, the military returned the organs to Pakapong’s parents and said they had been kept for medical examination.
Pakapong’s family asked the Central Institute of Forensic Science, which operates independently from police and the military, to perform an autopsy on the dead cadet.
But any hope of a speedy answer was quashed when the institute announced on Nov. 30, to much ridicule, that it could not complete the autopsy because supply of a routine chemical had run out.
The armed forces have a long history of physically abusing recruits and cadets, with occasional deaths resulting which are rarely explained. The families who seek the truth have been met with silence from the authorities or even prosecution.