A Vietnamese man has claimed he is the real father of a woman whose plight gripped Cambodia after she apparently spent 18 years living in the jungle, her adoptive family said yesterday.
The paternity claim, which the woman’s adoptive family now believe is genuine, adds a new twist to a saga that began in 2007, when a naked and filthy woman was discovered trying to steal food from a farmer.
The woman — soon dubbed “jungle woman” by Cambodians — was found hunched over like a monkey, scavenging on the ground for pieces of dried rice.
She was taken in by a Cambodian family who identified her as Rochom P’ngieng, a girl who went missing in 1989 while herding water buffalo in Ratanakiri Province, about 600km northeast of Phnom Penh and home to some of the country’s wildest jungle.
Now a 70-year-old Vietnamese man, named Peo, claims the woman is in fact his daughter who went missing in 2006 and has a history of mental health issues.
Rochom Khamphy, a member of the adoptive family, said Peo recognized her after seeing recent photographs on Facebook.
“He claimed she is his long-lost daughter,” he told reporters by telephone. “He recognizes her by a spot on her lip, ear conditions and a scar on her left wrist.”
The Vietnamese man has since made two visits, the latest on Saturday, and has agreed to pay the woman’s adoptive family US$1,500 for taking care of her.
Khamphy said his family were inclined to believe the man is her father and were awaiting approval from Cambodian authorities to give her back.
“If she was not his daughter, he would not want her back, because she is mentally ill. He said he feels pity for her, that is why he wants her back,” he said.
In a letter given to her Cambodian adopted family and seen by reporters on Monday, Peo said his daughter was called Tak.
“Recently, some young villagers suddenly found her information and pictures online. They showed me and I discovered she is now in Cambodia, raised by Cambodians,” Peo said.
Chhay Thi, provincial coordinator for local rights group the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association, told reporters he was monitoring the transfer process for any signs of human trafficking, but added he was inclined to believe Peo.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete