PHITSANULOK: A human skeleton was found by a villager in a cassava field in Muang district on Sunday morning, prompting a police investigation to establish whether foul play had been involved.
Police investigators from the 6th Forensic Examination Centre, accompanied by medical staff from Naresuan University Hospital, travelled to the cassava field near Rong Wai Fad village in tambon Don Thong after being informed of the discovery.
Lampoey Leepla, 49, said she and other villagers hired to cut the cassava trees went to the plantation in the morning. While cutting the plants, she noticed a bone sticking out from a shallow ditch. She first thought it was a dog bone.
After scraping dirt off with a knife, she found the bone was larger than she expected and connected to another piece of bone with an iron rod.
Mrs Lampoey said she rushed to inform the village chief, who contacted police.
When police officers and medical staff arrived, they carefully excavated the remains with hoes and spades. They found parts of a skeleton, apparently of a man aged 40-50 years of age who died at least six months ago. The remains were decaying, emitting a foul smell. The dead man was wearing a bead necklace with an amulet, a military camouflage shirt and a pair of black shorts similar to those worn by prisoners.
Officers also recovered a strap bag containing tobacco, a lighter and some medicines from the spot.
The jaw of the skeleton was broken. The spliced bones indicated the man might have had an accident, the police said.
A preliminary enquiry revealed that none of the villagers had gone missing and no complaints of a missing person had been filed with police.
The skeleton was sent to Naresuan University Hospital for an autopsy to extract a DNA sample and determine whether the death was a case of murder.