BANGKOK - A rescue worker has been arrested for allegedly trying to rape an unconscious woman he was entrusted to transport to a hospital, and who reportedly drowned herself after the attack.
Witnesses said yesterday that |the victim was found dead in Samut Prakan's Bang Phli district shortly after screaming for help and complaining that she had been raped.
The suspect, Tawatchai sae Sim, 32, denied raping the woman, saying he had attempted to do so but let her go after she resisted.
"We're waiting for autopsy results," said Pol Colonel Korawat Hanpradit, superintendent of Bang Phli Police Station.
Besides sexual assault, Tawatchai has been charged with stealing the victim's rings, which he allegedly sold in order to buy methamphetamine.
Tawatchai worked for a rescue foundation, which was alerted on Monday morning about the victim passing out at a Foodland supermarket branch in Bangkok and needing medical treatment.
The branch's assistant manager called the victim's boyfriend before deciding to contact the foundation.
The boyfriend, a soldier, said he received the call at about 10am and rushed to Ramkhamhaeng Hospital where his girlfriend was supposed to have been sent.
"But I didn't find her. So I decided to go to the police," he said.
Security cameras showed Tawatchai driving a foundation vehicle to the Foodland branch to pick up the unconscious victim, who had been placed in a wheelchair. The store's staff helped her into the vehicle.
Recordings at the hospital showed the vehicle driving in, then speeding away without stopping.
The victim, 28, worked for a well-known real-estate company. According to Foodland staff, she spent the whole night at the 24-hour supermarket before fainting on Monday morning.
Sittichai Konyanee, 33, said he was driving a motorcycle with his wife along a road next to a canal in Bang Phli on Monday when he saw a pretty woman dash out of the shrubbery.
"She called for help. She said she was raped," he said.
He stopped and the woman immediately jumped on his motorbike between him and his wife.
"But after a short ride, she asked me to stop," he said.
When he, his wife and another witness went back to check on her, they found she was already dead with her face submerged under water.