Warrants are out for the arrest of (inset) Amuary Rigaud, 33, and Rujira Klaylamai, 38, after the dismembered body of Ms Rujira’s Italian lover was found in a pond. (Main photo Post Today)

PHICHIT: A manhunt was launched Monday for a Thai woman and her French boyfriend who stand accused of murdering an Italian man she was dating and whose charred and dismembered body was discovered on Friday.

Giuseppe de Stefani, 61, was believed to have been killed by his girlfriend, Rujira Klaylamai, 38, and Amuary Rigaud, 33, her French boyfriend, said Thawatchai Muannara, chief of the Phichit provincial police.

The hunt was launched after the dismembered torso of a man believed to be a foreigner was discovered in a forest near Bueang Thap Chan, a freshwater pond in Bung Na Rang district of this northern province.

Two arms and a right leg bearing a tattoo were also retrieved from the scene.

Victim: Giuseppe de Stefani was a former lover of Ms Rujira

De Stefani’s identity was later confirmed by Ms Rujira’s daughter after she recognised the tattoo, police said.

A primary probe found Ms Rujira also has an estranged Thai husband. She was reportedly involved in a love triangle with de Stefani and Mr Amuary, but was living with Mr Amuary at a house in the area.

Ms Rujira has two children with her former husband, who she never officially divorced.

While seeking more evidence in the tambon, police were tipped off by local residents about a Thai woman and a foreign man who they suspected may have been involved in the affair.

Police drove by their house and saw Ms Rujira and Mr Amuary washing their car, a bronze Toyota Yaris with a Samut Songkhram licence plate.

Their suspicions of foul play grew stronger after neighbours said the couple had spent an unusually long time washing the car.

Pol Maj Gen Thawatchai said the couple fled using the same car as a getaway vehicle. Investigators searched the house and found a letter from de Stefani addressed to Ms Rujira. It read: “You told me that you loved me only because you wanted money. I have never met a bad person like you before.”

Police also found charcoal and firewood at the house.

Pol Maj Gen Thawatchai said more people may have colluded in the murder as CCTV footage showed other vehicles leaving the scene.

News Reporter

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