A THAI couple are praying that their missing daughter is not “the lady of the hills”, as the British press dubbed an unidentified woman whose body was found in Yorkshire Dales National Park 14 years ago.
“I hope she is still alive somewhere,” Joomsiri Srikanya, 72, said from her home in Udon Thani’s Phen district yesterday.
Officials will today collect DNA samples from her and her husband to compare with those collected from the deceased woman. If there’s a match, it will confirm that Joomsiri’s long-lost daughter Lamduan died during her time in Britain.
Lamduan, who married an Englishman, has not contacted her family since 2004. On her last visit home, her husband urged her parents to sell their land in Udon Thani.
“My son-in-law wanted us to sell up, but my husband refused,” Joomsiri said.
In a phone call about a month later, Lamduan complained to her mother that her husband was refusing to give her any money.
“That was the last time I heard from her,” Joomsiri said.
According to BBC Thai, hikers found the woman’s body in a river in the Yorkshire Dales in 2004. Police first suspected death from natural causes, but later evidence suggested she might have been murdered.
The case remained cold until a recent dental and bone examination suggested the woman might be Southeast Asian. Yorkshire police set up a Facebook page called “Can you identify this woman?” that specifically sought tips from users in Southeast Asia.
They also posted a photo of the gold ring the woman was wearing, which jewellery expects suggested might have originated in Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinese district.
Following the BBC Thai report, a relative of Joomsiri sent her a copy of the sketch of the deceased woman.
“It resembled my daughter Lamduan in some ways, like the cheekbones and chin, but the forehead looked different,” Joomsiri said.
Joomsiri sought the help of a community of Thai women living in Britain, and the group helped arrange the DNA collection.
A Thai forensics team will spend 20 days examining the samples before forwarding them to Yorkshire police.
Monrudee, Lamduan’s younger sister, said she often saw her sister in dreams and once asked her why she hadn’t come home again to visit.
“She told me, ‘I want to go but I can’t.’”