PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — The body of a British backpacker missing for more than a week in Cambodia was found at sea Thursday about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the island where she disappeared, officials said.
The police chief for Preah Sihanouk province, Maj. Gen. Chuon Narin, said the body of 21-year-old Amelia Bambridge was discovered in the Gulf of Thailand northwest of Koh Rong, where she disappeared after attending a beach party on the night of Oct. 23.
It was found near another island, Koh Chhlam, close to Cambodia’s maritime border with Thailand.
The Facebook page of Cambodia’s deputy navy chief also reported the discovery.
Authorities had launched an intensive land, air and sea search that was joined by members of the woman’s family who came after learning she was missing.
Bambridge’s family had speculated that she might have become lost in the heavy jungle in the island’s interior, but Cambodian officials had leaned toward the theory that she drowned because her bag with money and a cellphone was found on a rock near the edge of the ocean.
Her brother, Harry Bambridge, who took part in the search, posted a message on his Facebook page on Thursday night saying he had seen the body and could confirm it was Amelia.
“Im so sorry to all her friends and family there’s nothing more I wanted then to bring her back alive,” he wrote. “And I’m sorry to you Amelia Bambridge the round is on me when we meet again in heaven.”
Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha said the body had been spotted by a fisherman, who notified authorities. He said it was identified by the clothing and tattoos, which matched photos of the woman taken on the night she disappeared.
The body was taken to Sihanoukville Referral Hospital in Cambodia’s main coastal city, Sihanoukville. Tea Sokha said forensic experts would confirm the identification and examine the body for the cause of death.
Bambridge’s mother, father, sister and brother have been on Koh Rong and in Sihanoukville in recent days, but it was unclear if anyone other than her brother had viewed the body.