Three arrested for killing and burying a novice

Two former monks and a woman were arrested for killing and burying a 17-year-old novice monk at a temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat province.

Conflict of interest was suspected to be the motive for the gruesome murder.

Arrested were the former monk Phra Denchai and his wife, and former novice monk Suriya.

They were accused of conspiracy in killing 17-year-old novice monk Pluem and burying him under the cement ground in front of Tri-insuwan tower in Wangtawan temple.

Novice Suriya went missing for five months, prompting his relatives to seek help from the police to investigate.

Investigation led the police to uncover parking and amulet business in the temple to be the motive of the murder.

Police found that an ex-wife of Phra Denchai suspected the slain novice of stealing her handbag which contained cash and gold ornaments.

But the novice denied and was killed.

The novice was also said to know the improper behaviour of senior monks and their business.

His body was later buried under the soil ground in front of the tower.

After burying him, Denchai claimed he then entered monkhood for the sin he committed.

But police said this was to cover up the murder because he offered to improve the soil ground with cement.

Police used backhoe to demolish the cement ground today and found the decomposed body of the novice.

However police said they were awaiting relatives to identify the body before sending it for autopsy and DNA examination.

Denchai, his wife and Suriya would be charged for murder conspiracy, police said.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)