It was her first time taking the train and a ride that should have been bursting with teenage excitement quickly ended in a tragedy. 13-year-old Nong Kaem was raped, strangled and thrown from an overnight train in southern Thailand as she traveled with her two sisters.
"She wanted to be an angel, she wanted to be an air hostess," her mother said of Kaem. "If she was still here I would do everything to support her, but now I have nothing left."
Police named Kaem's alleged murderer as a 22-year-old railway employee who admitted to carrying the sleeping child to another carriage where he raped and strangled her, before throwing her lifeless body out the window. He has been charged with murder, rape of a child under 15 years old and theft.
Activists are using the case to call for tougher charges for child rape, which currently carries a jail term of four to 20 years and a fine of up to 40,000 baht ($1,200).
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