Young and beautiful, Tangmo Nida had a career and a promising future ahead of her. But things fell short because she died when she was 37 years old.
Pataratida Patcharaveerapong, born on September 13, 1984, was a famous model and actress from Thailand. She was also a singer, a racing driver, a TV personality, a social media influencer, and an entrepreneur from Bangkok.
In short, she was a multitalented personality, and a well-known figure in Thailand.
When she died from alleged drowning at the Chao Phraya River, disturbing pictures and videos of the incident and her deceased body were uploaded.
Certainly, others quickly responded and spread the word, making the case viral.
What makes it catch even more headlines is that, while her family, fans and others in the industry mourned, the incident attracted suspicion due to evidence and inconsistent statements by those who were with her when she died.
From her friends who didn't seem to show empathy, for example, to Nida's mother, Panida Siriyuthayothin, who pointed out that mysterious CDs and notes were stuffed in front of her house. Among them, there was a song music video on the CD about a violent drowning scene.
In other words, many speculated that Nida's death is actually a homicide.
It all began on February 24, 2022.
In the evening, Tangmo Nida was with five others on a speedboat at the Chao Phraya River for a photoshooting cruise around Rama 7 Bridge .
The five people with her included her manager, Idsarin “Gatick” Juthasuksawat; a woman named Wisapat “Sand” Manomairat; a man named Nitas “Job” Kiratisoothisathorn; the boat owner, Tanupat “Por” Lerttaweewit; and skipper, Phaiboon “Robert” Trikanjananun.
At one moment during the ride, it is said that Nida had to urinate.
But since the toilet on the speedboat couldn't be used at the time, Nida had to choice but go to the back of the speedboat for privacy.
To balance herself while urinating, Sand said that Nida was holding her legs while she squatted at the speedboat's stern.
Unfortunately, it is said that Nida slipped and fell.
Sand who realized this, quickly shouted to others. But nobody heard her scream. Nida was left behind in the dark night, alone in the cold water struggling with her life.
Nida and the others didn't wear life jackets.
While life jackets were provided on the speedboat, none of the people onboard wore them because the speed of the speedboat wasn't fast, and Nida didn't want a life jacket to ruin her photoshoots.
The group circled for a few times before giving up. Upon returning to the shore, the five people contacted the police.
This also immediately alerted the Thai media.
Soon, the Thai police and the Siam Nonthaburi rescue team arrived to the scene with a team of divers that quickly launched a search and rescue operation. They worked overnight, and continue the operation until the next day until the shipping traffic on the river was opened at 7AM. The operation was temporarily halted until it resumed at 10AM that day.
Rescuers from Po Tek Tung Foundation also came to help.
In total, around 30 divers were dispatched.
On February 26, a female body was found floating face down in the middle of the river near Pibulsongkram Pier 1, around 1 kilometer from the location Nida allegedly fell.
The team lifted her body onto a boat, and covered her with a white tarp.
They had to coordinate their finding with the authorities on the shore, so they could bring the body to Phibulsongkhram Pier 1 before allowing relatives, namely Nida's mother and brother, to confirm the woman's identity initially.
Both testified that it was Nida.
The whole scene was recorded, and was published on the internet.
The authorities had instructed the team to cover her body with a tarp, and reminded everyone about taking pictures, so nothing would leak. But this apparently failed.
In the leaks, it was shown how Nida's body had started bloating, with some of her body parts have darkened in color, and bruised, especially her face.
The most shocking was the footage and the picture of a deep laceration on her inner right thigh that is about 30 centimeters long.
Later, an autopsy report showed Nida's wound is bone-deep, suspected to have been hit by a blade or the speedboat's rotor blade. According to the preliminary conclusion, officials at the Thammasat University Hospital’s Central Institute of Forensic Science said that Nida suffocated because of drowning.
Evidence showed that sand particles and mud were found inside her lungs, trachea, windpipe and stomach, suggesting that Nida was still alive when she hit the water.
The muscles of her body were relaxed. This happened because the body had started to decompose fast because it had been in the water for a long time.
Because of this, the sphincter was open and her anal orifice have allowed water to enter. The same goes for the bladder, as some non-urine fluid was found.
This made it impossible for the forensics to examine the content.
Because of this, the police had to rely on Nida's bodysuit and the sanitizer pad she wore underneath it to find traces of her urine, in the hopes to also find similar samples on the speedboat's stern and her napkin. The police also scout for fingerprints, hairs, and other possible evidences on the speedboat.
At the time of her death, it was realized that Nida was wearing a swimsuit-like one-piece bodysuit, and that she was wearing high heels.
However, the police couldn't be a 100% sure that Nida's death was an accident, also because a wound was found on Nida's neck.
At the initial investigation, an axe was found on the speedboat, making the police to first theorize that the tool could have been used as a weapon, and injured Nida's thigh. This is because nothing on the boat could have made an injury that wide and deep.
Besides the axe and some other things on board, forensic examiners found no traces of narcotics.
According to witnesses, Nida was seen struggling to swim and crying after falling. She was also heard calling for help.
However, due to the sound of the speedboat's engine, the waves, and the sound of loud music, Nida's voice couldn't be heard by anyone on the boat.
Another witness who claimed to have seen Nida drowning said that at around 5PM, a boat was seen near her. The boat was seen circling the area for about three times. It is said that the boatman also saw Nida drowning, but didn't do anything because he was drunk at the time.
Nida's mother also expressed doubt. Besides knowing that her daughter had received some death threats, her mother knows that Nida was a good swimmer.
She said that if Nida fell, she should not drown.
Later, it was reported that the Technology Crime Suppression Division has traced the boat owner Por’s phone, and found that he made a series of phone calls to "powerful people" shortly after the incident that night.
Then during one of the interrogations, Por admitted that Robert was driving the speedboat when Nida fell overboard. But because Robert lacked the experience in driving a speedboat, he briefly lost control of the vessel, lurching it forward when it shouldn't. This caused a reflex reaction from Nida to firmly hold Sand to not fall.
This in turn triggered a reflex reaction from Sand who shook her legs, causing Nida to topple over, where her thigh may have been sliced by the propeller blades.
And because the wound was so deep and gaping, Nida might not be able to swim, no matter how good she was at swimming.
After continuous investigations, including more and more rounds of interrogations and a five-night reenactment act on the boat, the Nonthaburi court has issued an order granting arrest warrants for the five suspected persons involved, which include the driver of the speedboat who was not able to show a a qualified boat driver's license.
Two of the five people on board were charged with violation of the use of an unauthorized boat, deviation from the waterway, and a reckless act that causes the death of another.
Por and Robert had been accused of falsely stating that they drank three bottles of alcohol whereas more than that had been consumed. The two destroyed the evidence by throwing the bottles to the waters.
"The cause of death is found at this point to be drowning. To determine what actually caused her to fall into the river, whether it was herself or someone else, will take time.” said the police's spokesperson.
“As for the statements given by the five people in the boat, police aren’t totally convinced.”
Police said that the five people were caught lying about their claims, saying that there were conflicting accounts, which didn’t correspond to findings from the forensics team.
"Each witness was interviewed separately and the stories they told us were different. It is certain that at least one must have been lying," the police said.
It was reported that the police had to use lie detectors during the questionings.
Things get even more blurry when Nida's lawyer posted on Facebook, saying that in the case of speedboats, how many people would lose their celebrity image for urinating in public directly to a river? Even in a more urgency situation, like if Nida really had to defecate, as a high-profile celebrity, she would certainly tell the others to bring the speedboat to shore and deal with it then.
In addition, Nida was wearing a jumpsuit with an open-back style.
If she really had such emergencies, the one-piece bodysuit she was wearing would force her to take it off from the top to the bottom. This would mean that Nida's had to be completely naked by exposing her breasts and her private regions.
For a celebrity like Nida to do such thing in public, is impossible, the lawyer argued.
The lawyer further denied allegations that said Nida's jumpsuit could be unbuttoned from the crotch, or if Nida could have pulled the lower part of the bodysuit's fabric aside to relieve herself. The lawyer said that if she could really do that, there shouldn't be a need for her to relieve herself in the stern.
In later footage obtained, it was shown that Nida was sipping a glass of wine and playing with her hair on the night of her drowning. In the background, an unidentified male voice can be heard asking Nida to approach him at the rear end of the speedboat.
When more footage was found and shared, it was shown that Nida allegedly jumped from the boat, or pushed by someone. Another footage showed that Nida was dragged underwater as the speedboat moved.
Speculations after speculations that all went viral, Thailand’s Department of Mental Health advises the public to objectively read the news and beware of misinformation.
Officials are worried about the psychological impact excessive exposure to the flood of media reports might have on the society.
At a press conference, it was then concluded by Thailand’s national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk, that evidences show that the death of the TV actress was likely an "accident."
The police has time until March 11 to wrap up the case.
It was later reported that Nida's mother has forgiven who were with her daughter, in exchange for at least 30 million Thai baht ($920,000).
"Por is a very polite man," she said.
"He was always calling me, crying every day, and I will be receiving compensation for her passing. He told me to calculate Tangmo’s income, that if she were to star in lakorn (Genre in Thai drama) for 800,000 to 1 million baht each series, and were she alive for 30 more years, she would probably earn more than this amount."
Nida's lawyer said that he felt sad about this situation.
"Has anyone ever sincerely loved her without any benefit? Even after she died, there are still people looking to gain something," her lawyer said.
"Disappointed," Nida's brother Dayos Detjob said in a post, after her mother's appearance.
Not only that, as the public was also widely displeased by her decision.
Panida denied any suggestion that her forgiveness was based on the promise of compensation.
This was seen when Gatick attended a public apology to Panida, at Mueng Nonthaburi Provincial Polce Station. Panida didn't accept Gatick when she apologized. The reason is because when Panida asked Gatick why didn't she jump into the water to save her drowning daughter, Gatick replied that she "can’t swim.”
This is said to be a lie, because on Instagram, Gatick was shown swimming in a pool with her daughter.
What's more, Panida also demanded that a former chief of the Central Institute of Forensic Science to perform another autopsy on her daughter because she has doubts on the results of the first one. She also sought help from the Senate’s human rights committee to ensure transparency and fairness in the handling of the case of her daughter’s death.
The actress' mother also wanted to know who arranged the photoshoot her daughter was supposedly hired to do. asking how it is difficult for her to believe six people, including Tangmo and her manager, were in the boat together just to have a photoshoot.
Later, relatives informed that Nida had signed a wish in which she said she would donate her body, including wishing her organs, when she died. But the medical team said that Nida's body could not be donated due to the amount of edema the body suffered due to the prolonged contact with water.
Following the leak, Thai celebrity Akekaphan Bunluerit reminded everyone who saw the pictures and videos of Nida which are inappropriate to not be disrespectful to the late actress and stop resharing them.
On Friday, 11 March 2022, people gathered in a Bangkok church for an emotional farewell to Tangmo Nida Patcharaveerapong on the first of three days of funeral prayers.
But even as the ceremony went ahead for the actress, police are still continuing with their investigations, knowing that there are still more evidences found.
Among the evidences, include Ekkapun "Tide" Bunluerit, a friend of the actress and rescue foundation volunteer who was present when her body was found, made explosive allegations. He also said that he broken teeth and bruises on Nida’s face, around her right eye, that looked to be the result of blunt force trauma.
"I saw her teeth were broken," Tide said. "I haven’t said anything before because I thought the process would reveal those results. But to this day, I haven’t seen such reports made, so I came forward to speak."
Tide’s testimony has superheated public suspicions that some kind of cover up has been perpetrated to hide the truth about the famous actress' death.
With the case extended, Senator Somchai Sawangkarn, head of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights and Consumer Protection, suggested that the five people should take lie detector tests, again.
He recommended it because the people have made conflicting statements to police, and because the case has seen very little progress, even after nearly a month of investigation.
He suspected that the five people in question might have received coaching from someone before they received police questioning.
He also suggested the inspection team to try to locate the actress' skirt.
Nida was shown wearing a white skirt on top of her bodysuit, around her waist, taken on the night of her death. Most likely, she wore the skirt because it was at night, and the bodysuit's leg openings were cut in a high arc from the crotch.
That garment was not found on the actress’ body when her body was recovered.
Somchai also said that the police should be "transparent" in their investigation of the evidence. The late actress' mother, Panida, reportedly petitioned the senator to keep a close watch on the investigation into her daughter’s death.
Following the second autopsy, Senator Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunan, a member of the senate committee and a forensic expert, said that the autopsy didn't suggest that the late actress was assaulted..
She said that the results were similar to the first autopsy.
Notably, Nida's head did not show any trace of impact and her teeth were not broken nor chipped. The thing that Tide saw was said to he Nida's veneer, which was removable.
The second autopsy conducted on Nida's remains confirmed the presence of 22 wounds on her legs, and nothing else significant. The team found no traces of wounds on the head, neck or back. The burn-like wound on her chest was examined, and so did her windpipe and genitals.
The 22 wounds on her legs caught people's attention, and many began to wonder: why hadn't the wounds seen on the initial leaked photos? On the photos that were circulating on the web and social media networks, Nida's calves were clean without any injuries. In an alleged second autopsy that was leaked as a video, a person was shown lifting Nida's legs, and her calves were shown badly injured.
The Justice Ministry had received the consent of Panida's lawyer to release parts of the autopsy report to the media.
After more investigations, an arrest warrant has been issued for Sand.
According to Pol. Lt. Gen. Jirapat Phumchit, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 1, the warrant for the arrest of Sand was on the charges of “negligence causing the death of another person.”
This makes Sand join Por and Robert on charges of recklessness in the drowning death of Nida.
Job and Gatick became the fourth and fifth suspects, with the former facing charges of violating the maritime law and destroying evidence, while the latter is facing charges of giving a false statement to the police.
Gatick said that she allegedly confessed to giving false statements to the police, after she had acknowledged the charge against her. She told the media she had never altered her statements to the police, but she did admit that she was wrong for stating something to the police which she did not personally witness.
Regarding the report that Nida was at the stern relieving herself when she fell into the river, Gatick didn't explicitly mentioned this because she did not see that with her own eyes.
All five people onboard the speedboat face charges after the police debunked the peeing story and considered it a lie.
Deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 1 Pol Maj-Gen Udon Yomcharoen, who also acts as the police spokesman in this high-profile case, said that the police is also seeking an arrest warrant, from the Nonthaburi provincial court, for the man who is suspected to have coached the five suspects on how they should deal with the police after the fatal incident on the night of February 24th.
He also said that, if the court rejects the police request for a warrant, the police handing the case shall still summon him to appear for questioning.
Then, confusing spread when Nida's Facebook fan page began posting revelations and her final photos.
An anonymous person who claimed to know the truth about Nida's mysterious death, has been using the Facebook page to share pictures and video clips from the late actress’ phone, and said that the person only wants justice for the late star, whose drowning death kicked off months of frenzied speculation.
"This page has never disclosed private videos of Tangmo, live videos, or created false evidence," one of the posts read. "This page will only post real evidence that has been recovered from her phone."
It also vowed to "post vital information that could tie the culprit."
Then finally, in May 24th, the body of Tangmo Nida, a Thai actress who had been in the spotlight, was finally cremated.
She was cremated at the crematorium of the Rangsit Methodist Church in Pathum Thani Province.
Her body was taken to the crematorium at 11 a.m., and was temporarily placed in the chapel which had been decorated in white and pink, two of the actress’ favorite colors.
Reports said that the cremation ceremony was attended by only 150 guests, consisting of only family and closest friends.
The decision was based on consideration of the COVID-19 health protocols that are still in effect in Thailand.
During the cremation led by Praew Kanitkul and Anchalee Chongkhadikj, Tangmo Nida’s mother read a farewell speech followed by a sermon from the priest.
It's worth noting that Tangmo Nida’s body is known to have undergone two autopsies. After the cremation, the controversy over her death shall not rest, until the culprit is found.
It was crime-investigation activist Atchariya Ruangrattanapong who asked a Senate committee on human rights, liberty and consumer protection to push for a yet another examination of the speedboat for latent blood stains, claiming he has evidence of physical assault.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Kornchai Khlaikhlueng, commissioner of the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau, also said that his unit already asked mobile phone operators to identify the person who released the pictures and video via Nida’s social media account.
He assumed that the person had access to her Apple iCloud account because all the posted pictures and video were from the account and police had earlier checked it.
The first person that came to mind, is Bang Jack (Jack Raja Hyder).
Tangmo Nida's mother admitted to have sent Nida's phone to Bang Jack, by sending it to the U.S. via postal post. Bang Jack claimed to her mother that there was evidence of the murder, so she sent the photo to him to recover information.
Bang Jack has previously said that Nida going to the back of the boat to urinate is not real, and was completely fake.
He said that Nida only learned that she had been tricked to be on the boat, after the boat left for the river. According to Bang Jack, Nida was late to realize that the whole boat scene was a set up, made just for Nida to meet a high-ranking, influential businessman who had spent money and was waiting for her at a hotel near the Chao Phraya River.
It's alleged that the wealthy man wanted to have sex with Nida.
Bang Jack admitted to have obtained some of the insiders' information from her conversation with Kratik, a close friend and Gatick.
"I really don’t know what to do. I don’t want to say anything contradictory, I was wrong to take this job," once said Gatick to Bang Jack.
Bang Jack also admitted that Kratik sent him some videos from the boat, and said there was a fight on the boat.
In one of the videos, a man was heard saying: "I hired you, you have to go see that person, he has been waiting for a long time."
Also in one clip, a woman’s voice said: "I said I don't like it. I do not want to go. Take me home or I’ll go to the police station to report the case."
Tangmo Nida's death caught both the local Thai media and international attention not only because of the drama, but also because of the painful truth that swirled inside the entertainment industry in general.
Nida has been working in the industry since the tender age of 10, and with her good looks and appeal, she managed to propel her career beyond most of her peers, in a relatively shorter amount of time.
She sang songs, worked as a model, participated in a beauty pageant, starred in various films, and more.
As she grew older, she developed a more mature thought, and began thinking to settle down and start her own family.
This was when she started to reduce her work, and spend more of her time enjoying life. It was during this time, that she found a partner, and gave birth to a daughter.
The thing about working in the entertainment industry is that, there is no easy way out of it.
The more famous someone is inside the industry, the more difficult it is to escape. And for Tangmo Nida, a very famous actress in Thailand, it was almost impossible for her to flee from her fame.
When she received a call from her agent, she was told to go out with some people. She simply couldn't say no.
She got ready, and said goodbye to her daughter and partner, without realizing that her departure would be a farewell.
While she may had a great time on the speedboat, drinking alcohol and laughing, her companions were not fellow celebrities. One is the owner of a well-known brand chain store, another is a tourism industry boss, and another is the CEO of a well-known technology company in Thailand.
They were there on the speedboat that evening because they were rich people.
In other words, Nida was called by her agency, because she needed to accompany the three men.
In the industry, it's extremely common to see men use their wealth to have celebrities accompany them. From accompanying men to drink, dance, parties, and more. Some men, and some of the celebrities may even engage in sex if the two agree (or not agree).
These "unspoken rules" for becoming famous in the entertainment industry force celebrities to at least look happy, even when they are not.
The more beautiful a star is, the more famous the person is, the more often such offer will come. And as a woman, Nida was vulnerable.
This kind of thing is unavoidable in the circle. This is because in the entertainment industry, the stars are the entertainment.
And following Nida's unfortunate death, the three rich men, guilty or not, used their money to buy their way out.
In the end, Nida's mother stopped pursuing the case, despite believing that her daughter's death wasn't an accident.