April 07, 2014 00:00 By Jessada Jantarak, Manit Sanub
Police say desire for inheritance motivated 22-year-old to put contract out on parents' lives; older brother also shot dead
The youngest member of a family has been arrested for allegedly masterminding the murders of his parents and his elder brother.
“He [Kittinan Homchong] wants inheritance,” Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lt General Camronwit Toopkrajank alleged at a press conference yesterday. The family owns an expensive plot of land in the capital.
Colonel Wichai Homchong, a 63-year-old military retiree, his wife Wanida Homchong, a 57-year-old teacher, and their eldest son Lieutenant Tammanat Homchong, a 24-year-old investigator at Taling Chan Police Station, were shot dead at their home in Bangkok’s Bang Khae district on April 3.
Police have wasted no time identifying and arresting suspects. As of yesterday, four of the five identified suspects were in police detention.
Police alleged Kittinan, 22, and his close friend Sakkarin Panthakul, 22, organised contract killings.
According to police, Kittinan and Sakkarin allegedly hired Chalard Tiangtham, 53, Surapong Chuphan, 47, and Sirichai Permpoonsak, 39, to carry out the killings.
Sirichai, a former murder convict, remains on the run.
“We offer a Bt500,000 bounty to any person who can give a useful tip-off leading to his arrest,” Camronwit said.
He said Sirichai had just completed his jail term for a previous murder.
He said when tips-off arrived, arresting officers would need to proceed with extra caution because Sirichai had a record of shooting at police to resist arrest.
Chalard, who was present at yesterday’s press conference, said Surapong and Sirichai were the gunmen.
“I just drove them to a spot very close to the victims’ house, then I waited there till they came back. We left the scene together,” Chalard said.
Chalard alleged that had he known Kittinan plotted to kill his own parents, he would have not joined in.
“He told me someone cheated his father and he wanted revenge,” Chalard said.
Surapong said he was paid Bt10,000 on April 4 for the murder contract.
Denchai Boonkrapeu, a relative of the victims, showed up at the press conference to listen to the progress of the investigation.
“In fact, I hoped police would bring Kittinan to the press conference. If he has really confessed, I wish to hear it directly from him,” Denchai said. He said Kittinan had moved out of his family’s house to live with a friend due to his conflict with his father.
“But still, the conflict was not that serious,” Denchai said.
He said he would believe Kittinan plotted to kill his parents and his elder brother only when he heard it from his lips.
The funerals for the three victims are being held at the Si Prachantakham Temple in Prachin Buri, the hometown of Wanida and the province where Tammanat grew up.
“In fact, this was a loving and warm family,” Wanida’s sister Wanpen Boonkrapeu said.