Depressed woman commits suicide by crocodile in Samut Prakan
An elderly woman committed suicide by jumping into a crocodile pit at the Samut Prakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo.
Wanpen Inyai, 65, left her home on Rom Klao Road in Bangkok's Min Buri district on Friday morning and no one in her family could contact her afterward. She wasn't found until after she had jumped into the pit housing more than 1,000 crocodiles that afternoon.
Police were not able to identify the deceased and contact her family until Saturday morning after Wanpen's 30-baht universal-healthcare card was found floating on the water's surface.
A picture taken by an unidentified person captures a crocodile approaching the body of Wanpen Inyai, 65, at the Samut Prakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo where she committed suicide.
The result of DNA testing of tissue taken from the corpse would be known in a month, said Pol Col Preecha Iamnui, Muang Samut Prakarn police investigator. Witnesses saw the woman intentionally jumped into the croc pond and footage from a security camera confirmed she left her shoes on a walkway before making the fatal jump.
The officer said when he arrived at the scene, farm owners and staff were trying to use long sticks to ward off dozens of crocodiles tearing at her body. But by then it was too late.
Sunan Tharmnat, Wanpen's sister, said the victims had been depressed and did not talk to anyone for several days before she disappeared.
She and family members went to file a missing-person's report with Rom Klao police the day she went missing, but were told to wait 24 hours, as required by law.
Crocodile farm executives denied published accusations that they tried to cover up the suicide and asked Wanpen's family members to keep the incident quiet. They said they alerted police immediately after learning of the incident and the deceased's family thought the death was suicide.
A picture of Wanpen's body being approached by a crocodile was circulated on the Internet over the weekend.
Farm owner Uthen Youngprapakorn told the Jor Sor 100 traffic radio station on Monday the pit in which Wanpen jumped was about 2-3 metres deep and covered an area of about five rai.
It was not a pit used for a crocodile show and unfortunately staff could not rescue the woman. He said the farm had already installed additional strong fences and other security measures along the walkway. He described last week's suicide as a force majeure and expressed condolences to the woman's family.