Tsunami victim's ashes return home, after 12 years

Tsunami victim's ashes return home, after 12 years

Wreaths decorate the Memorial Wall at Mai Khao Cemetery in Phuket after a religious ceremony to mark the 12 anniversary of the 2004 tsunami on Dec 26, 2016. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Wreaths decorate the Memorial Wall at Mai Khao Cemetery in Phuket after a religious ceremony to mark the 12 anniversary of the 2004 tsunami on Dec 26, 2016. (Bangkok Post file photo)

NAKHON RATCHASIMA - After 12 years of waiting, the ashes of a victim of the Tsunami that struck the Andaman Sea coastline in December 2004 were delivered to her home in this northeastern province on Thursday morning, to the delight of relatives.

The ashes of Linda Kamphaengyai were handed over to the family by Pol Maj Gen Chairat Sri-iam, commander of Police Forensic Science Centre 3, after a DNA test confirmed they were Linda's, Thai media reported.

Among the waiting relatives were Linda's mother Somjai Jamklang, 46, and her 14-year-old son Sonthaya.

Mrs Somjai said Linda was only 17 when she and her husband left for Khao Lak of Phangnga province on a trading trip, taking with them their nine-month-old daughter and leaving their son, Sonthaya, with his grandmother in Nakhon Ratchasima.

When the Tsunami struck on Dec 26, 2004, all three of them were reported missing presumed dead. Mrs Somjai said she went to Khao Lak to look for their bodies but did not find any of them.  She returned home without hope, leaving a description of her daughter with the authorities.

Some time later, officials came to take a tissue sample from Sonthaya for a DNA test, part of the victim identification process, the report said.

Mrs Somjai said they came back recently with some unexpected news - that Linda's ashes would be delivered to her family.

An arrangement was made for Pol Maj Gen Chairat to visit them today with Linda's ashes, she said.

Mrs Somjai said she was happy she could now give her daughter's remains the proper rites, even though the remains of her granddaughter and son-in-law were still missing.


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