Answers sought over Gareth Huntley's tragic death in Tioman

Answers sought over Gareth Huntley's tragic death in Tioman
Gareth Huntley.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

PETALING JAYA - Gareth Huntley's family and friends are hoping that an inquest will answer their questions on how he died.

Australian daily The Age reported that Huntley's partner Kit Natariga was hoping that Malaysian authorities would, after an inquest on June 29 (Monday), provide the police report, photographs, clothing and items Huntley had on him to British police to investigate further.

Huntley, who had visited Tioman Island to volunteer at a turtle conservation project, went missing while trekking alone to the Lubuk Teja waterfalls on May 27 last year.

His highly decomposed body was discovered by search and rescue personnel in Mentawak River, about 20m from a kayak storage unit at the Juara Lagoon chalet on June 4.

Natariga claimed it took months for the results of a post-mortem examination in Malaysia to be delivered to Huntley's family but, when the report arrived, it provided few answers.

Natariga added that when she learnt that her boyfriend's body had been found, she felt her world ending and a large part of her died with him.

"I don't understand nor know how he died. There are facts that need revealing," she was quoted as saying in the report.

"Gareth was a smart man who was kind and peaceful. He was absolutely capable to do that trek and should have made it back.

"I believe that his death was suspicious because where he was found was not a logical end to the waterfall trail.

"If Gareth was walking on the path where he was found, it would have taken him under 30 seconds to get out of the jungle and into the clearing.

"There was a very small amount of water there (where his body was found), but nowhere near enough to cover his body or face. Therefore he did not drown," Natariga told The Age.

Natariga appreciated all efforts on the ground from locals and Malaysian forces, saying it was a testimony to the kind of person Gareth was, that so many people from all around the world became involved.

"We really would like to see this collaboration continue and see the Malaysian and the British police work together to establish exactly what happened to Gareth," she added.

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