Couple held in ‘severed head mystery’ released due to lack of evidence

A man and a woman who had been held in preventive custody since last year following the discovery of a woman’s head in a plastic bag close to a Matosinhos beach have now been released due to lack of evidence.

The trial that began last month in the municipality’s court was brought to a close yesterday (Wednesday) with lead judge Susana Matos lamenting that those responsible for the gruesome murder of young Thai mother Natchaya Saranyaphat “will continue unpunished”.

This is because evidence produced in court “did not permit credibility” of the Public Ministry’s case against the 52-year-old owner of a Thai massage parlour and her much-younger Pakistani former partner.

Both were thus immediately released, and there is no indication in any press report so far that prosecutors are considering an appeal.

The dismal case was splashed over the tabloid press after Ms Saranyaphat’s severed head was discovered close to rubbish bins on Praia de Óscar, Leça de Palmeira, almost a year ago (click here).

Reports suggested the rest of the woman’s body “will have been disposed of, also in bits, into the sea”.

Said Correio da Manhã at the time, it was an “almost perfect crime” – given that identification of any body parts would be pretty much impossible even if they were eventually found.

This observation may now be haunting investigators who never managed to get confessions from either suspect (click here).

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