A team of experts from Canada and Thailand has completed an autopsy on what is believed to be the body of Canadian journalist and filmmaker Dave Walker, discovered last week at Angkor Thom temple in Siem Reap province.
Touch Malai, deputy chief of the provincial technical and scientific police unit, said that eight forensic experts from Thailand and Canada carried out the autopsy at the Siem Reap provincial referral hospital.
On Monday, they left Cambodia and returned to Bangkok carrying DNA samples that will be analyzed to confirm if the badly decomposed body is that of the 58-year-old, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in February.
“The doctors did the autopsy to identify the victim, to see if he is the Canadian journalist Dave Walker or not,” he said, adding as far as Cambodian doctors could tell, the victim had died of natural causes.
“After the autopsy, our doctors concluded that the victim died as a result of a heart attack and that we did not see any injuries caused by someone or evidence of any kind found on the body that would point to this being a murder.”
The body will remain at the hospital in Siem Reap until the results of the autopsy and DNA test are released, and will be returned to his family pending a request by the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok.
Siem Reap provincial immigration police chief Chao Mao Vireak, who is heading Cambodia’s investigation into Dave Walker’s death, declined to comment on what—if any—lines of inquiry police were pursuing in the ongoing probe into the journalist’s disappearance.
Last week, Dave Walker’s friend and business partner Sonny Chhoeung implored police to carry out a full and proper investigation, suggesting they find out whether he paid to get inside the ticketed archeological park. But Mr. Mao Vireak said police had not followed up on that suggestion.
“We have not cooperated with the Apsara Authority and we have not investigated how the victim came to be in the Angkor Thom area because we believe that he walked there by himself,” he said.
sokhean@cambodiadaily.com
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