Thai authorities have charged a woman with premeditated murder in connection with the deaths of at least 13 people, including her ex-boyfriend and two female police officers.
Sararat Rangsiwuthaporn, who is married to a senior police officer, was arrested on Tuesday after authorities were alerted about the suspicious death of a friend she had traveled with on April 14.
Rangsiwuthaporn had reportedly been traveling with her friend, Siriporn Khanwong, to take part in a Buddhist ritual at a river in Ratchaburi province, located west of Bangkok, when Khanwong collapsed and died on the riverbank. When her body was found, her belongings, such as her phone, money and bags, were missing.
The suspicious nature of Khanwong’s death prompted her family to ask local authorities for an investigation, during which an autopsy found traces of cyanide in her body.
The police interviewed witnesses, including Rangsiwuthaporn’s police officer husband, who had recently broken up with her. Police said they found cyanide at the suspect’s home as well as other pieces of evidence inside her Toyota Forerunner.
Cyanide, which can induce heart attacks and starve the body’s cells of oxygen, can still be detected in bodies several months after a person’s death depending on the used amount. The substance is heavily regulated in Thailand, where unauthorized access can result in up to two years in jail.
Police said that their investigation points to Rangsiwuthaporn having allegedly killed at least 12 other people by poisoning between 2020 and 2023.
While the authorities did not identify all the victims, they named Rangsiwuthaporn’s former boyfriend, as well as two female police officers, as among them.
The other victims, who died over several years and were allegedly similarly poisoned, reportedly knew the suspect and may have loaned her money. One victim, who survived but vomited and fainted after having lunch with Rangsiwuthaporn, had lent her 250,000 baht (approximately $7,300).
Relatives of her other alleged victims had claimed to have jewelry and cash missing as well.
”If the evidence shows she has committed other murders, then the suspect will fit the description of a serial killer,” Major General Montri Theskha, chief of the Crime Suppression Division, was quoted as saying.
However, authorities noted that gathering further evidence could be a hurdle since at the time of many of the victims’ deaths, no one suspected any foul play. Some of the victims’ bodies had already been cremated.
Rangsiwuthaporn, who is currently four months pregnant, has denied all charges against her. Her request for bail has been denied.