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Preliminary autopsy showed that the killer of many children in northeast Thailand did not use narcotics


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An autopsy on the body of the Nongbua Lamphu killer has revealed that the man did not use narcotics, the Royal Thai Police said last night.

The results of the autopsy performed at Udon Thani Hospital show no drugs in the body of 34-year-old Panya Khamrab, who carried out a massacre at a daycare centre in Na Klang district on Thursday.

National Police Commissioner General Damrongsak Kittiprafat said the investigation into the gunman’s motive is now centred on a family dispute and financial difficulties, as Panya had been unemployed for nearly a year. He said investigators found that Panya had argued with his wife around 4 a.m. Thursday before calling her mother to pick her up because she “didn’t want to live with him anymore”.

Later on Thursday morning, Panya attended a court hearing on a drug charge and was told he would hear the verdict the following day.

Investigators speculate that Panya returned home, became angry when he discovered his wife was gone, and thought she had taken his son. He immediately went to the nursery and proceeded to his horrific act. He then returned to his home and killed his wife, son and two family members before turning the gun on himself.

“The autopsy result shows no traces of drugs, meaning the shooter may not have taken any drugs in the past 72 hours. However, the officials will conduct a full medical test to confirm the result,” Damrongsak said.

Panya was fired from the police in January after being arrested for possession of methamphetamine pills. He had previously been reprimanded by his supervisors for repeated abuse of the illegal drug. Panya joined the Royal Thai Police in May 2012 and was transferred to Na Wang Police Station in Nong Bua Lamphu Province in June 2019. He worked there until his discharge from the police force.

General Damrongsak added that the weapon used in the attack had been legally purchased by Panya, who had a license to use it. He said Panya bought the weapon while on duty at the discounted price offered to police officers. When he was released from the police force, the gun became his personal property.

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