Police are hunting for a man who had allegedly raped eight elderly or middle-aged women - two of whom were also killed - in Nakhon Pathom and Samut Songkhram provinces from 2010 to 2014.
Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) acting chief Pol Maj-General Thitirat Nonghanpitak presided over a meeting yesterday regarding these rape cases. The meeting was also attended by investigators from the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), Provincial Police Region 7 and officers from Samut Songkhram's Bang Khon Thee Police Station.
The hunt follows an attempted rape on December 25, 2014 when the suspect - identified as a 170cm-tall well-built man - broke into a 70-year-old woman's Nakhon Pathom home reportedly with the intent to rape her. He instead ran into and assaulted her 39-year-old daughter.
A doctor later reported that there was no sign of rape on the victim except wounds from the physical assault. Police, however, found the suspect's semen at the scene, which matched eight other home intrusion and rape cases.
The first case took place on September 26, 2010, when a 70-year-old woman was raped in her Nakhon Pathom home, followed by the rape of a 71-year-old woman in the same province on November 10, 2010.
The third rape and murder of a 61-year-old woman took place on January 8, 2012 followed by the rape of a 59-year-old woman on December 6, 2012 and another rape of a 70-year-old woman on December 8, 2012 - all in Samut Songkhram.
The sixth case was on December 16, 2012 in Samut Songkhram and the victim was 47 years old. In Nakhon Pathom, the rape of a 75-year-old woman occurred on March 23, 2013, while the rape and murder of a 78-year-old woman took place on June 11, 2013.
As the rapist remains at large, several rape victims have moved residence, fearing the attacker could return and assault them again, while many women in the area are living in fear.
CSD acting chief Pol Colonel Akaradech Pimolsri said the CSD's involvement was due to Thitirat's instruction that they probe key cases affecting public morale and where culprits remain at large.
Tomorrow afternoon, CSD and Provincial Police Region 7 will hold a joint meeting in Nakhon Pathom about the rape cases, he said.
Meanwhile, the police chief's adviser Pol General Jaramporn Suramanee, who went to the scene of the attempted rape in Nakhon Pathom yesterday afternoon, said police were trying to collect more evidence at the scene of the nine cases to find links to this serial rapist. He urged people not to let elderly women stay alone at home and to install more lights and intrusion alarms.