Illness, hardship drive Pattaya couple to suicide

Pattaya police inspect the house in which the destitute couple took their own lives.

A Pattaya couple stricken with illness and financial hardship committed suicide together by lighting a charcoal grill inside.

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Mullika Maliwakur, 25, discovered the body of her aunt, Kwanjai Muangmoon, 39, and uncle Direk Areerach, 57, lying side-by-side on their beds, with flowers, incense, candles and Buddha amulets decorating their bedroom at Chokchai Green View Village on Soi Pornprapanimit 14/5 Aug. 7.

Mullika Maliwakur, niece of the deceased couple, talks to investigators about her uncle’s misfortunes.

Direk, Mulika said, had been bedridden for a decade due to chronic illness. The couple also owned a tour boat business which, like all tourism-related ventures, had hit the rocks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The double-suicide had been well-planned, with both lying peacefully with a small charcoal grill placed at the foot of the bed. Kwanjai left behind a note asking her family to arrange their funerals and willing their property to family members.

Mullika said the couple never even hinted at their intentions. She had visited her aunt the day before and had sent a message later that night but got no reply. So she came over the next day and found them.