The Cambodian authorities appear to have concluded that Canadian Dave Walker died of a heart attack due to lack of fresh air around the country’s historic Angkor Wat complex.
This may be of concern to millions of tourists who visit the site every year but travel agents appear to be keeping their clients in the dark about this phenomenum.
Of course there may be something lost in translation so below is the text of a story running in the Toronto Sun. Readers might like to know that James Eglitis, exposed here as being on the run from Australia on kidnap and torture charges who at one point appeared to be leading the investigaton, is of course still on the run from torture and kidnap charges, as nobody can be bothered to pick him up.
He claims to be an adviser to the Cambodian MILITARY police but I am sure this is not his theory.
My favourite part of this story is the statement from the Canadian authorities who say they are continuing to help the family and contacting local authorities. Continuing? I missed the beginning.
Those who knew and loved Dave Walker released a statement Thursday expressing concerns Cambodia is trying to “cover up” the 58-year-old’s death by deeming it a heart attack.
And they’re pleading with the federal government to get more involved.
“The fact that Walker was murdered is not in dispute,” the family alleges in the statement, signed by Walker’s cousin, Tammy Maddon, an Edmonton resident.
The family says it is “deeply disturbed” by Cambodian media reports that an autopsy was conducted and determined Walker “died of natural causes.”
But a team of Thai investigators, hired by the family, found the opposite after conducting a preliminary examination.
“For the Canadian government to remain silent when they are in possession of the true facts when attempts are being made to suppress and cover up the true cause of Walker’s murder and identify those who were responsible for Walker’s death is scandalous,” the family says.
“And Canada’s silence — while simultaneously publicly expressing full confidence in the Cambodian government — as Cambodian law enforcement officials make official public statements which are unmistakably and knowingly false, is unacceptable.”
The Siem Reap province’s police chief stood by their findings in a local press report posted online Thursday, accompanied by seemingly bizarre rationale.
“We are still concluding that the victim died of a heart attack because there is not enough fresh air in that forest and it is easy for people to fall unconscious,” Sort Nady said in the Cambodia Daily.
Peter Vronsky, a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto where Walker spent his summers, said he’s “horrified” by how the probe has unfolded.
“The Cambodians began selling this story the moment Dave’s body was found,” Walker’s life-long friend said. “And I don’t understand why the Canadian government would abandon a citizen this way.”
Walker had been living in Cambodia trying to revive the country’s film industry. His most recent project was a documentary about a man who saved countless families from the Khmer Rouge regime, Vronsky said.
Walker left his hotel room Feb. 14, apparently so the maid could clean, leaving behind his cellphone and laptop.
His decomposing remains were found May 1 by kids foraging for fruit off a trail near the Angkor Wat temples, a major tourist attraction 13 km from his hotel.
A spokesman for Foreign Affairs said only that consular officials continue to provide assistance to the family and remain in contact with local authorities.