A forensic examination has confirmed that the late TV actress Nida Patcharaveerapong, aka “Tangmo”, died by drowning, said Pol Lt-Gen Jirapat Phumichit, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 1 at a news conference today (Tuesday).
According to Jirapat, Nida had a deep cut on her left leg, possibly caused by a boat propeller, but forensics had not provided any indication as to whether the actress fell from the boat, or was pushed. He also revealed that the police do not believe the statements provided by the five friends who were on the same boat as Nida.
So far, they have handed in the clothes they wore on the night, have been subjected to physical examinations and have provided DNA samples for forensic analysis, he said.
Regarding the wounds and bruises found on the arms and shoulders of one of Nida’s five friends on the boat with her, known as “Job”, the doctor who examined the wounds told the media that they were 5 to 7 days old and were not caused by finger nails.
A doctor at the press conference said that he didn’t ask how the man had acquired the injuries, but that he believed that they had been caused by a hard object and not a fight.
The deputy commissioner said that police investigators had checked the GPS system on the boat and had obtained details of the vessel’s journey, including its cruising speed on the night of the tragedy last Thursday.
A pathologist at the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the Police General Hospital told the media that they could not confirm whether Nida had urinated before she drowned, as claimed by her friends, because she had been in the water for a long time.
Associate Professor Dr. Werasak Charaschaisri, a forensic expert, spoke with Thai PBS and said that the deep wound on her leg could have been caused by a boat propeller, but that it is yet to be revealed whether the cut was inflicted pre or post mortem.
He explained that it is possible that the laceration, which is about 30cm long, could have cut deep into a major artery, which would have limited Nida’s ability to help herself.
As for the sand found in Nida’s lungs, Dr. Werasak explained that she was still breathing when she fell into the river, as sand can enter the lungs while drowning.
He also explained that, because of the current in the Chao Phraya River, sand particles can become suspended in the water. Therefore, people don’t need to sink to the river bed to get sand in their lungs.
Meanwhile, many locals laid flowers at Pibulsongkram Pier in Nonthaburi province today, in memory of the late actress.