Suspect with mental health issues found dead in Khon Kaen cell
Suspect with mental health issues found dead in Khon Kaen cellLegacy

A 42 year old suspect was found dead in his cell at a police station in Manchakhiri, in the southern part of Khon Kaen province, northeastern Thailand. The deceased had been detained following a disturbance caused by intoxication, and his relatives had requested police intervention. The incident has highlighted concerns about handling individuals with a history of mental health issues and substance abuse in custody.

On February 5 it was reported that the local district officer had assigned the deputy district officer for security to work with the prosecutor’s office, the hospital’s medical team, and investigative officers to conduct an autopsy. The deceased, whose last name has been withheld, had a history of mental illness and drug addiction, which had led to erratic behaviour requiring police attention.

Two days prior, on February 3, around 1.20pm, police were alerted to the suspect’s aggressive behaviour at his family home, where he was reportedly causing harm to relatives and damaging property. The family had requested that the police take him to see a doctor to assess his condition and provide necessary treatment.

Upon apprehension, the suspect was examined by medical professionals at Manchakhiri Hospital, who found him still agitated despite his history of psychiatric treatment and drug use. He was administered medication to subdue his erratic behaviour, but the suspect remained uncontrollable. In response, the caregiver, Lamai, requested that he be detained to ensure his and others’ safety and to facilitate further psychiatric treatment and legal proceedings, reported KhaoSod.

Tragically, on February 4 at 3.10pm, the suspect took his own life by hanging himself in his cell. Following the autopsy, the investigative officers at Manchakhiri Police Station handed over the body to the family for traditional funeral rites.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai), or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai). Please also contact your friends or relatives at this time if you have feelings of loneliness, stress, or depression. Seek help. 

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Author: Nattapong Westwood