Nobody wants their child to die. Nong Bua Lamphu is a community that lives with this exact burden.
According to authorities, was responsible for the deaths of 24 children, some as young as two-years-old, as well as adults.
Wat Rat Samakkhi is everywhere you look.
We can hear the inside screaming as we approach.
Here is where families come together to receive the corpses of their children.
It is raw and real. There are so many people in such distress that they cannot walk or breathe.
A father weeps at the side of the temple door. They are supposed to fill out paperwork here – it’s a formal acknowledgment of an uncontrollable loss. Everyone is suffering.
Rasamee Srinamburi just lost her son.
Her family is helping her to stand, while she sobs uncontrollably. Prapankorn, her four-year-old son, was killed.
She shared the most heartbreaking details about her son’s death. Her son was stabbed in his face.
Tragically, Rasamee was horrified to see the photos of his dead body. She told me that he was “lively, caring, and always told her how much she loved him”.
The mother of Survivor claims she fainted after seeing the nursery horror.
Surprisingly, it turned out that she knew the attacker as well. They had been to school together, she said, and he did well. That same boy turned out to be a man who entered the area where Rasamee’s child should have felt safe and secure, a haven. He made it a hell.
The nursery has what looks like a bullet hole through the window. This is a hint at the horrors that lie within.
These are the little details that make you feel like this, such as the milk bottles at the gate.
All day, families have been gathered. One woman is heavily pregnant. She seems exhausted. Marisa is her name and she says she didn’t sleep all night.
She is grieving the loss of her fourth child as she carries another child.
Seksan Sriraj, who sits staring at the sky with complete bewilderment, is just a few feet away. I ask him if he’s lost his wife.
She was also a teacher. He says that she was the one who managed the bedroom where the children slept that day.
We find the house of the attacker, a 34 year-old man who police claim was fired from the force, and was being charged with drug charges, as they grieve. It is only a ten minute drive away.
Time frozen in time
Only the shell of his truck is visible outside his home. According to neighbors, he set it on fire before entering his house and killing his wife and stepson. The toys on the outside are another reminder of a childhood that has been frozen in time.
Prantumporn is across the road. She claims that her 63-year old father, Udorn, was also killed.
She said that he had tried to warn others. He had asked the attacker if everything was okay. He replied, “I’m going after you.”
This community witnessed firsthand the effects of trauma on the fabric of society.