150 hunt for missing British woman in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — About 150 people have joined the search for a young British woman who is missing on a Cambodian island popular with travellers, a senior police officer said yesterday.

Major General Chuon Narin, police chief of coastal Preah Sihanouk province, said divers, police, navy personnel, local volunteers and foreigners are taking part in the search for 21-year-old Amelia Bambridge. She has not been seen since last Wednesday night, when she attended a beach party on Koh Rong island in southwestern Cambodia attended by tourists of various nationalities.

Her bag with phone, money and credit cards was found the next morning on a nearby beach, and after she failed to check out of the hostel where she had been staying her passport was found in her room.

Chuon Narin expressed guarded optimism that Bambridge might be found alive, saying that several foreign tourists have been previously found safe after going missing in a jungle area. He said he wasn’t aware of any cases of foreigners being murdered.

The Phnom Penh Post newspaper cited a local official, Koh Rong Commune Chief Chhoeun Chantha, as saying that the search was being conducted in the jungle and at sea. He said he suspects Bambridge may have drowned because her bag was found on a rock near the water’s edge.

Speed boats were being employed in the search. Bambridge’s brother and father are in Cambodia to help in the search, and her mother was en route, Britain’s Press Association reported.

The family learned of her disappearance when she failed to check out from her hostel.

“As of now, the searchers have no news about her whereabouts and they have expanded the area they are searching to make sure all possible sites are checked,” Chuon Narin said. “I can’t say whether Bambridge was killed or got lost in the island’s jungle.”

Officers show a map of Koh Rong where British national Amelia Bambridge went missing, in Preah Sihanouk province, Cambodia. PHOTO: AP