The evidence strongly suggests that former actress Pawana Chanajit met her death in an accident, rather than by foul play, a senior police officer said yesterday.
Assistant Police Commissioner-General Pol Lt Gen Jarumporn Suramanee said the evidence indicated that Pawana, 69, accidentally fell head-first into her fish pond, hitting her head on a concrete pedestal under the water.
After being appointed by the national police chief to head the case yesterday, Jarumporn went to Nakhon Pathom’s Nakhon Chaisri district to hold a meeting of investigators and inspect the pond.
Police drained the pond in their search for evidence. In the middle of the pond, they discovered a concrete pedestal that was used to house a lotus-plant pot. The lid of the pedestal was found to be slightly opened.
Police Hospital doctor Lt Col Pakorn Wasinrat told the meeting of investigators that an examination of Pawana’s body had revealed a wound on her gums which, he said, had been caused by impact with a hard object.
Pakorn surmised that the wound had been caused by impact with the edge of the concrete pedestal, whose lid had shifted as a result.
The doctor added that the bruises on her arms and elbows were probably due to impact with the concrete sides of the pedestal.
Jarumporn said the evidence fitted a scenario in which Pawana had gone to the pond to feed the fish, knelt down to pay respects to a statute near the pond, then risen and turned towards the pond, losing her balance and falling head-first into the water. Jarumporn said that traces of footsteps found fitted the theory.
Jarumporn added that Pawana had, perhaps, lost her bearings as she sank in the dark, believing she was struggling towards the surface when she was actually sinking deeper.
Her live-in boyfriend, Natthaphong Luangsirikul, 55, said yesterday he was relieved that the police investigation had cleared suspicions that he was behind the death.
Natthapong said he would wait until after the funeral service before instructing his lawyer to seek ownership of his assets. He said he would fight only for what was rightfully his, and would not touch Pawana’s assets.