Man arrested after trans lover’s body found a week after her death

Danai Nesta Kupemba June 19, 2022
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Thiraphon was a transgender Thai woman who was murdered. (Credit: Facebook)

A Lithuanian man has been arrested in the murder investigation of a 31-year-old transgender Thai woman.

Thiraphong Lamluea was found dead in her apartment in the Prasat district of Thailand on 15 June. Her mother Wandee Lamluea was the one who discovered Thiraphong’s body after neighbours reported a foul-smelling odour coming from her house.

She was found wrapped in a blanket in her bedroom and had died from blows to the head, most likely from a bottle, according to Bangkok Post.

When police arrived, there were drag marks on the floor with traces of hair and bloodstains around the apartment. Police reported that Thiraphong had likely been dead for a week.

Lithuanian native Marius Kunickas, 31, who was Thiraphong’s lover, was arrested on 16 June at a beach in Pattaya.

Police managed to track down Kunickas using the signal from Thiraphong’s phone, which the Lithuanian man had stolen from his dead lover, and transported him to the Royal Thai Police Office.

Thailand is considered as one of themore accepting Asian countries when it comes to LGBT+(Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)

During questioning, police found bruises on his face and on his body as per Bangkok Post. During the interrogation police say that Kunickas admitted to arguing with Thiraphong.

According to Wandee, Thiraphong had another boyfriend from Britain and suspects that Thiraphong may have been killed in a jealous rage.

A 2021 Human Rights Watch report found that Thailand “has limited legal provisions that offer some security to transgender people, but they fall far short of comprehensive protections”.

The Thai government passed the Person’s Name Act in 2007 which allows transgender people to change their names but – legally changing gender is still a hurdle Thailand hasn’t crossed yet.

The government attempted to address more issues transgender people face by passing the 2015 Gender Equality Act. The act was meant to prevent discrimination against people on the basis of gender expression but it was not adequately implemented.

The Committee on Determination of Unfair Gender Discrimination, who had the ability to enforce the law, heard 27 cases of alleged discrimination against transgender people between 2016 and 2019 but there were no convictions or punishments.

Most recently Thailand became the first Southeast Asian country to legalise same-sex unions. While the bill avoids the term marriage, couples will be able to adopt children and have inheritance rights.

While the Thai government has made strides to improve the life of LGBTQ+ people in the country more needs to be done to protect the community.


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