Murders In The Northern Territory


tags: Murder, Homicide, NT Police, Northern Territory,

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The Murders of Somjai Insamran and Phuangsri Kroksamrong
By Detective Sergeant Isobel Cummins, Northern Territory
APJ Issue - June 2008 (Vol. 62, No. 2), pp.88-91.


At 9.14am on Wednesday 3 March 2004 Northern Territory Police received a phone call from the operator of the Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruises at Corroboree. The caller said that two tourists who were boarding one of their boats on the Adelaide River had seen a floating body of a woman in the river. The location of the body was approximately 66kms from Darwin City. In his telephone call the operator stated he believed the female was Caucasian and appeared to have her legs tied together. The NT Police’s Marine and Fisheries Enforcement Section were dispatched to recover the body; the operator also attempted to secure the scene until police arrival.

Detectives from the Major Crime Unit were alerted to the incident and immediately commenced initial inquiries. Simultaneously, a report was made to police of a missing Caucasian woman, who was reported to have been involved in a number of domestic violence incidents with her partner.

Two Bodies

About 11am police were advised from another operator of the Adelaide River Jumping Crocodile cruises that a second body was located floating in the Adelaide River, approximately 800 metres from where the first body was located. Marine and Fisheries Enforcement Section members were on-site dealing with the first body at the time, which had been found to have been tied at the wrists to car batteries. This second body was also bound and it was obvious that this was something even more sinister than initially thought. Early indications reported by on-site police were that both bodies were of Asian appearance. This development came about the same time the missing Caucasian woman was located safe and well by Major Crime Unit members.

The matter was declared a major crime by NT Police, initiating the establishment of a Major Crime Management Plan. Concurrent to this declaration, about 12.15pm two Asian women walked into the front counter area of Darwin City Police Station to report two of their friends missing. The two women, ‘witness one’ (W1) and ‘witness two’ (W2), were engaged in prostitution as solo operators, as were their two missing friends. The women had not seen their two friends since the afternoon of Monday 1 March (two days earlier); all four resided and worked from an inner city motel.

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