Police have arrested an alleged serial killer after hundreds of bones belonging to young women were found in his garden pond.
Wealthy property heir Apichai Ongwisit, 40, allegedly made his girlfriend Warinthorn Chaiyachet, 22, sleep in a metal casket to stop her leaving him.
She was suffocated and then hurled into the pond full of carnivorous alligator gars fish at his home in Bangkok, Thailand, last July.
The body of the missing young woman, nicknamed Kik, went undiscovered until police who had received a tip-off this month that she had been murdered.
Kik’s body – identified by a large fish tattoo on her back – was discovered tied to a metal gate and weight down with dumbbells in the pond on January 9.
Officers now believe there could be many more victims after police divers found at least 298 human bones in the water on Friday (Jan 17).
The family of a missing 12-year-old who live near the property in the Thai capital’s Bang Khae district believe she could also be in the pond.
Police said they are hoping to drain the pond to discover the full extent of Apichai’s alleged killing spree. He has been dubbed the ”metal casket killer”.
Bizarrely, he is the son of a wealthy businessman Chalermchai Onkvisitwho was jailed for butchering a 15-year-old girl in 1983. The family owned the city’s Onkvisit Market.
Police Colonel Jirakrit Jarunpat, commander of the Women’s and Children’s Welfare Division,said the investigation suggests there are many more victims who were killed by Apichai, who has been remanded in custody while investigators consider further charges.
The police chief said: “The investigation has found several women who were involved the culprit have disappeared. They include his friends, girlfriends and prostitutes.
“We have found 298 bone pieces in the pond so far but could not clarify that how many humans those bones were from.
“We are also seeking his ex-girlfriend who we believe might have witnessed or have information about him killing the missing women.”
The case began back in July last year when Apichai and his girlfriend, Kik, made a police complaint.
They began searching for suspects who had allegedly sexually assaulted Kik.
However, shortly after the Kik’s complaint, family the reported her missing.
Investigators continued trying to contact her when an informant, Chalermchai, 50, said she had been killed.
They then discovered her body in the pond and were urged by those who knew the alleged killer to search through the pond for other victims.
The human bones were then discovered and they have been sent for forensic examination at Siriraj Hospital. Police believe they came from at least three people.
The suspect is the son of the owner of the Ongwisit market in Bang Kae. His father had been arrested on charges of murdering and dismembering a 15-year-old girl in 1983. He was later shot dead. His mother, accused of masterminding the crime, subsequently fled abroad with his younger sister.