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Thai ‘man’ who set fire to his girlfriend is finally arrested

A man was arrested in a 17-year-old case in which he allegedly torched and robbed a student girlfriend who had dumped him, leaving her crippled for the rest of her life.

Pol Col Neti Wongkularb, a superintendent of the Crime Suppression Division, said on Thursday that Kamron Somyapitak, 39, was arrested at a market in tambon Nong Yasai of Nong Yasai district in Suphan Buri province on Wednesday.

The suspect had been wanted under an arrest warrant issued by the Nakhon Si Thammarat provincial court.

The CSD superintendent said that on June 17, 2002, Wanna Sriyaphai, then a 20-year-old commerce student, was hit and set ablaze inside her dormitory room in Muang district of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The suspect also made off with the woman’s 4,500 baht in cash and gold ornaments worth about 20,000 baht.

After the attack, the woman could barely move her right deformed limbs and was unable to communicate.

Six months later, she told police that Mr. Kamron attacked her after she split up with him.

An eyewitness told police Mr. Kamron rode a motorcycle to Miss Wanna’s room on the day of the crime and argued for a while.

The man was later seen hurriedly leaving on his motorcycle.

Mr. Kamron had been held earlier but was released when his detention period ended because the investigator handling the case resigned, Pol Col Neti said, adding his case had not reached the court.

The woman’s mother Koliyoh Sriyaphai, 63, had filed a complaint with many organizations. Her latest call for help went to the CSD last month as the 20-year statute of limitations of the case was about to expire, the superintendent said.

“CSD detectives were in the field and learned that the suspect had stayed with relatives in different provinces. He neither renewed his ID card nor used a mobile phone. Lately, we knew that he sold southern chili paste with a relative at the Nong Yasai municipal market in Suphuan Buri, and had a wife and a son,” Pol Col Neti said.

The suspect was charged with attempted murder and theft. He denied the charges.

Mrs. Koliyoh thanked the CSD for taking up the case.

“I told my daughter that the man who attacked her was arrested finally. She was happy and tearful but could not speak. She will have to live with these injuries for the rest of her life,” said the mother.