PHITSANULOKE: In an eerie tale just in time for Halloween, a man was arrested in this northern province after being fingered for murdering his young wife by an unlikely source: her ghost.
Four months after her disappearance, the spirit of 21-year-old Ratree Thongdee reportedly appeared to her mother, Somjit Jitprajak, in a dream.
The apparition told her that she had been killed by her husband, then buried near the couple’s home.
The dream led to the discovery of Mrs Ratree’s body under the tree.
It also led to the arrest earlier this month of her husband, 27-year-old Senee Thongdee, for murder.
Police received a report on September 22 that a body had been discovered. At the scene, they found a skeleton that had been freshly exhumed from under a mango tree. The front of the skull appeared to have been bashed with a blunt object.
Villagers insisted the body was that of Mrs Ratree, saying they recognized her clothing.
Mrs Somjit said her daughter was married to Mr Senee and that the couple had a son together.
Around two months ago, Mrs Somjit went to visit Mrs Ratree, but she was not at home.
Mr Senee told her that her daughter had run away from the house around two months earlier.
Later, Mrs Ratree appeared to her mother in a dream. According to Mrs Somjit, Mrs Ratree told her she had been murdered by her husband, the buried underneath a mango tree behind the house.
The next day Mrs Somjit and some relatives dug a hole under the tree, but failed to find anything.
That night Mrs Ratree appeared to Mrs Somjit a second time. She told her mother they had dug in the right place, but not deep enough.
The next day the group dug deeper under the same tree. This time they unearthed a skeleton. At last report police were awaiting laboratory results to confirm the identity of the body.
On October 11, police arrested Mr Senee. He reportedly confessed to killing his wife.
Mrs Ratree was very attractive, which led to other men trying to get involved with her, he said.
This led to frequent arguments, he said.
On the day of the murder, Mr Senee returned home from work to find his wife wasn’t home.
Later, he heard the sound of her talking to a young man outside the house.
He sneaked a look and saw that his wife was indeed talking to a man. He waited for the man to leave, then shot Mrs Ratree in the head.
He buried her in the garden and went to tell the police she had gone missing, he said.