The roommates, both from Thailand, met when they attended Boston University. The 32-year-old woman stabbed her 25-year-old roommate to death and then stabbed herself, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office.
Two women found dead in a unit at the Malloy Apartments in Seattle’s University District on Tuesday were identified Thursday by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, which determined a 32-year-old woman fatally stabbed her younger roommate and then killed herself.
Kornkamon Leenawarat, 25, died from multiple stab wounds and her death was ruled a homicide; Thiti-on Chotechuangsab died from a stab wound to the chest and her death was ruled a suicide, according to the medical examiner. Both died on Saturday.
The two women are Thai nationals who met while attending Boston University and roomed together since Leenawarat began working on her second master’s degree at the University of Washington in March, said one of Leenawarat’s family members, who asked not to be identified to protect his privacy.
The relative said the UW was asked to perform a wellness check on Leenawarat on Saturday afternoon, and the family filed a missing-person report with the Seattle Police Department on Sunday after no one had heard from Leenawarat for two or three days.
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A call to the University of Washington Police Department seeking information was not returned. The Seattle Times has filed a public-disclosure request to obtain a copy of the missing-person report but has not received it.
University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce confirmed Thursday that both women were master’s students attending the university’s law school.
“This is a heartbreaking loss for their families, friends and our entire community. I offer condolences on behalf of our University to everyone who is grieving as a result of this tragedy,” Cauce wrote in an online post. “The Seattle Police Department has made clear that this was an incident between these individuals and that there is no risk to the broader community.”
On Tuesday, Seattle police responded to an apartment in the eight-story building at 4337 15th Ave. N.E. after the building manager conducted a welfare check and found a severely injured woman, police said at the time. When officers arrived, they found two women dead inside the apartment.
At the time, police would say only that there were two bodies and no outstanding suspects, implying the case was a murder-suicide but declining to confirm it pending autopsies.
According to Leenawarat’s relative, who lives in Houston, Texas, Leenawarat’s mother died two years ago. Her father, three brothers and her sister all live in Thailand, but several of Leenawarat’s first cousins live in the Houston area.
The relative and his wife will be traveling to Seattle on Friday to collect Leenawarat’s possessions and arrange for her remains to be returned to Thailand.
The Bangkok Post, which has been following the story of the women’s deaths, reported that Leenawarat is the youngest daughter of the former deputy mayor of Thanyaburi municipality, in Pathum Thani province, and her uncle is the municipality’s current mayor. One of her brother’s is also a member of the Pathum Thani provincial council, according to the Post.
Chotechuangsab was listed as a director of Pornsiri Power Limited Partnership, a food-products company based in Samut Sakhon province, the Post reported.
Quoting a Thai immigration official, the newspaper reported that Chotechuangsab left Thailand on Aug. 21 and Leenawarat, on Aug. 27.