A nationwide manhunt in Thailand has come to a close as authorities managed to arrest serial killer Somkid Pumpuang, dubbed the “Jack the Ripper” of Thailand, after he had been identified by an eyewitness who had boarded the same train. Pumpuang is suspected of murdering a 51-year-old woman in Khon Khaen last Sunday.
The alleged fifty-five-year-old serial killer was spotted on train No. 234 at Khok Kruat Station in Muang Distract bound for Bangkok, according to an article from the Bangkok Post. A mark over his left eyebrow had caused a worried university student to recognize the Pumpuang, whose face had been plastered all over television and posters, to alert the authorities. He was arrested by police at Pak Chong Station hours after the student confirmed that it was indeed the suspect.
Earlier, a witness claimed to have seen a man fitting Pumpuang’s description disguised as a monk in Udon Thani. Authorities had surmised that the suspect might have planned to flee to adjacent Nong Khai in an ultimate attempt to cross into Laos.
Immigration and security officials at the Lao-Thai border were on high alert, checking both motor vehicles and pedestrians, as they searched for Pumpuang. Since Tuesday, all vehicles heading to Laos had been scrutinized for signs of the alleged criminal at all border checkpoints. The Nongkhai Immigration Department had put posters with the suspect’s pictures in bulletin boards around the border areas. Undercover Thai detectives had been deployed to search areas within the vicinity.
Pumpuang was originally given the death penalty for the serial murder of five people, but this was later reduced to life in prison. His life sentence started in 2005 and he was released earlier this year for good behavior.