Police are searching for the killers of a seven-year-old boy found beaten to death in a banana plantation in northern Thailand.
Thanachot Pangruean, 7, had been playing outside with friends but did not return home for dinner in Chiang Rai on January 16.
His uncle, Nai Kai, 16, who takes care of the boy and his siblings while their parents work, called the police who began searching the neighbourhood.
The team found Pangruean’s lifeless body almost three kilometres away from their home
His face had been smashed by a hard object while several wounds were found across his body.
A hoe, the boy’s shoe, a wooden stick, and broken pieces of toy car was found near the body.
Several footprints – appearing to be from an adult and a child – were also found on the ground where he laid.
The boy’s father, Songwut, believed someone took his son to the plantation as he was still too young to walk that far.
He said: ‘How could he have walked that far? I think he might have witnessed someone doing something wrong so that person killed my son.’
Thanachot’s body was taken to the hospital after the crime scene was recorded for a post-mortem examination.
Police Colonel Thanomsak Yotpaen said they interviewed witnesses including the village headman Thaithacha while waiting for the autopsy result.
Officers have opened a murder probe but they have no suspects.
The police chief said: ‘There is no clear evidence yet so we don’t know who has committed the murder. We will have to wait for the results of the autopsy. The investigation is also looking at CCTV cameras in the area but not every area is covered.’