In the early eighties a wealthy market owner in Bang Khae, Thailand, watched in annoyance as a fifteen-year-old girl named Nuanprang Bunnag tapped on the glass of a fish tank, distressing the fish inside. Soon after the teenage girl was found dead and dismembered, her remains disposed of near Wat Phraya Krai.
Investigation into the slaying would reveal that the market owner, Chaloemchai Ongwisit, had ordered his brother-in-law to assist him in Nuanprang’s murder. After a long stint in prison Ongwisit was released, only to be fatally shot. His wife, who was suspected to have ordered a hit against him, quickly fled the country and moved overseas, never to return to her home country again.
Chaloemchai Ongwisit’s son, Apichai Ongsawit, who inherited the family wealth and estate, made headlines around the world this week when 300 bones were found on his property.
Apichai, 40, showed up on police’ radar when he was arrested for drug charges earlier this month. While being questioned over unrelated drug charges, an acquaintance of Apichai, Chaloemchon Ngabua, 41, confessed to the police that he had seen Apichai murder a young woman on his property. He alleged that the forty-year-old hit the woman over the head with a large stick and shoved her into a metal casket, locking it shut. To muffle the sounds of her screams he played loud music in the house. Chaloemchon was once employed as a security guard on the property and told officers that he and the suspect had done time together in 2012. Once released from prison, Apichai employed him as a security guard on his estate. Ngabua said that he witnessed the murder and said that he was willing to provide a witness statement in return for leniency.
The young woman turned out to be Ongwisit’s girlfriend, Warinthorn Chaiyachet, known to friends as “Kik”. Kik, a pretty 22-year-old who worked as a bar girl, had been reported missing by her worried family. She had been dating the 40-year-old and had recently reported an incident involving him to the local police. When she failed to turn up for her secondary appointment the authorities became concerned about her well-being.
The suspect would later confess to the police that he was so jealous of his girlfriend and so afraid that she would sneak off and leave him in the night that he forced her to sleep in a metal casket. On the night of the murder he said he shoved her into the box, locked it and awoke the following day to find that she had suffocated to death. Ongwisit then rolled her body up in plastic and buried her on his estate. Police believe that he may have tortured his victims before putting them into metal caskets and eventually disposing of their bodies.
After the news broke, members of the community came forward and voiced their concerns, saying they believed Apichai may have murdered others. Ongwisit has a prior criminal record, including illegal possession of a firearm and drug abuse.
In 2011 a twelve-year-old girl who was known to play near the suspects estate went missing. Her family never found out what happened to her.
Police later secured a warrant to search the property at Soi Phetkasem 47, where they recovered bones that they believe may belong to a young female. The bones are currently in the hands of the Siriraj medical museum where they are being tested and examined. Siriraj famously houses the preserved body of another suspected serial killer named “Si Oui”, a Chinese immigrant who was accused of murdering and consuming the livers of several children, spanning several provinces in the 1940’s. Recently, however, there have been issues regarding the legitimacy of Si Oui’s status as a serial killer and a petition to remove his body, which is on display in the “forensic crime” section of the hospital.
Police are reportedly looking into cases of missing females between 15 – 18 to help identify the remains found in the pond.
Neighbors spoke of Apichai Ongwisit filling his pond with carnivorous ray-finned Alligator Gars, a type of fish believed to be capable of breaking down the bodies of his victims due to their big appetites and insatiable hunger. Police reported that they did not find Alligator Gars in the pond, however they did recover around 300 bones and believe the suspect has killed at least 3 females. News reports showed images of black bones being arranged on white sheets as police and forensic teams kneel around the findings.
Ongwisit, who has been nicknamed “The ice casket killer” by the Thai media, has been charged with illegal detention, concealing bodies and premeditated murder. A filtered selfie of the suspected serial killer that accompanies most articles across various tabloids, depicts the 40-year-old killer looking freakishly smooth and paper white. He is bald, dressed in a plaid shirt with a Jack Skellington necklace around his neck.
Investigators found the metal casket that Ongwisit admitted to locking his girlfriend in and later recovered the young woman’s remains buried in the ground just beyond a gate that had been fastened shut with chains and locks and weighted down with a dumbbell. They identified her on-sight by a large Japanese koi fish tattoo spanning the entirety of her back.