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HOME // National News // Teenage girl, accused of dumping baby’s body in river, released from custody

Teenage girl, accused of dumping baby’s body in river, released from custody

PHOTO: Thai Rath

A teenage mother who dumped the body of her 8 month old baby in a river has been released and 9,000 baht bail returned to the charitable organisation that paid it.

According to a Thai PBS World report, the release of the 17 year old was ordered by the Juvenile and Family Court, in the central province of Nakhon Pathom, after the public prosecutor failed to indict the girl within a 90 day deadline.

The teenager hit the headlines on February 5, when she reported her baby missing, presumed abducted, from her home in the Bang Len district. A major search operation was launched, covering a 5 kilometre radius, with police officers, volunteers, and sniffer dogs taking part.

The search was conducted on land, in a nearby canal, and in the Tha Chin River, using underwater drones, but the baby was not found.

At the time, Thailand’s deputy national police chief, Surachate Hakparn, said he suspected the mother’s version of events might not be the truth. Under intense questioning, the girl confessed that she had accidentally dropped the baby while at home and the child had died in the fall. Frightened of what legal action she might face, she says she dumped the baby’s body in the river.

Her release yesterday came as the prosecutor missed the deadline for bringing the case to court, as he had asked the police to look into five additional matters and officers were unable to finish doing so until this coming Friday.

The prosecutor now has until July 25 to decide if the teenager should be indicted. She appeared before the court yesterday to hear its decision, accompanied by a representative from the Win Win Foundation, which had paid her bail. When the court ordered her release, it also ordered that the money be returned to the foundation.

The report goes on to quote from an interview the teenager gave to another non-profit group, the Mirror Foundation, in which she discusses her childhood.

“I lived alone, did everything alone. I didn’t feel I wanted to go to school. Father asked me one day why I didn’t go to school and I told him that I didn’t want to go any more. Deep down in my heart, though, I wanted to study and my grades were not bad.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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