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"Jungle woman" reappears after going missing for 10 days

Other News Materials 7 June 2010 10:32
Cambodia's so-called "jungle woman" who went missing 10 days ago has been found in a 10-metre-deep latrine, local media reported Monday.
"Jungle woman" reappears after going missing for 10 days

Cambodia's so-called "jungle woman" who went missing 10 days ago has been found in a 10-metre-deep latrine, local media reported Monday.

Rochom P'nhieng, who is about 29 and appears to suffer from mental disabilities, was discovered late Friday by a neighbour who heard her calling out, DPA reported.Rochom P'nhieng

Sal Lou, who claims to be her father, said he and other villagers went to the scene.

"The villagers pulled my daughter out of the toilet, and we cleaned her up, but now she looks weak and pale," he told the Phnom Penh Post newspaper.

Rochom P'nhieng made local and international headlines in early 2007 when she was caught trying to steal food in the north-eastern province of Ratanakkiri some 600 kilometres from Phnom Penh.

She had been living in the wild, and at the time was unable to speak either Khmer - the predominant language of Cambodia - or P'nong, one of the region's indigenous tongues.

She was taken in by Sal Lou's family in 2007. They claimed she was their long-lost daughter who had disappeared in 1989 while herding cattle.

Her disappearances and reappearances have piqued media interest ever since.

Sal Lou told the newspaper that he would now stay at home to prevent Rochom P'nhieng running away again.

But a local human rights advocate said the woman's family were likely unable to care for her in the rural province since she has obvious mental and emotional difficulties.

"She has fled the house three times already since she came back from the forest," said Chhay Thy, an investigator for human rights group Adhoc.

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