A chilling tale unfolded in Chiang Mai as a used car saleswoman fell victim to a suspected serial rapist who posed as a potential customer. The 40-year-old suspect, Nathapol Panpadungsap, was arrested in Muang district less than 48 hours after his heinous act was committed.
The unsuspecting 35-year-old victim met the suspect at a coffee shop near her used car dealership in San Sai district after he claimed to have just driven past her establishment. At the coffee shop, the unsuspecting woman and the suspect, who was clad in a polo shirt and trousers, engaged in a friendly conversation over coffee as she showed him a car quotation form.
Taking advantage of the situation, the suspect lured the woman into his pickup truck. According to police reports, the man admitted to raping the victim at a nearby motel before brutally murdering her. He proceeded to load her lifeless body into his vehicle and checked into another motel in Muang district, where he left her body in one of the rooms.
The callous criminal displayed no signs of remorse as he contacted his girlfriend to pick him up from a nearby location. He later returned to the motel alone to extend his booking, seemingly in an effort to prolong his evasion of the law.
Upon discovering her body in the motel room, investigators found evidence of rape, along with signs that the woman had been viciously beaten and strangled. The suspect, when apprehended, had visible nail wounds on his forehead and arms.
What is perhaps even more disturbing is that this was not Nathapol Panpadungsap’s first encounter with law enforcement. Police records reveal a history of previous arrests for car theft in Muang district, as well as multiple rape incidents, one in Doi Saket district and another in Bangkok.
This case is a haunting reminder to exercise caution when engaging with strangers, even in seemingly professional settings. While it is impossible to predict the intentions of every individual encountered, it is essential to remain vigilant about one’s surroundings and trust one’s instincts when interacting with unfamiliar individuals.