Body of orang asli child identified, another found at riverbank

Body of orang asli child identified, another found at riverbank
Eight-year-old Sasa Sobrie was one of the seven orang asli children who went missing more than six weeks ago.
PHOTO: The Star

GUA MUSANG, Malaysia - The bodies of two children, one identified as that of an orang asli pupil missing since August, have been found at Sungai Perias riverbank here.

The skeletal remains of a child, which included a human skull and torso, were recovered by Senoi Praaq General Operation Force members at the riverbank at about 4pm yesterday.

Sources said the skull had a number of fractures, believed to have been caused by a fall.

OCPD Supt Saiful Bahri Abdullah confirmed the find, adding that police needed to check whether the remains were that of one of the missing children.

The remains were taken to Gua Musang Hospital, 46km away, at about 8.40pm.

About 24 hours earlier, the first body, later identified as that of Sasa Sobrie, eight, was recovered at the same river, about 800m from where the skeletal remains were found.

The area is located about 500m from the school hostel where the seven children had been staying.

Sasa's father Sobrie Latif identified his daughter's body at the mortuary yesterday: "Sah, itu Sasa (It's confirmed, it's Sasa).

"I knew that it was Sasa based on a birthmark and the earring that she wore," he said.

Sasa and the six children had reportedly fled their school hostel and run into the nearby jungle on Aug 23, fearing punishment after they were caught swimming in a nearby river without permission.

The six others were Mirsudiar Aluj, 11, Norieen Yaakob, 10, Ika Ayel, nine, Haikal Yaakob, eight, Linda Rosli, eight, and Juvina David, seven.

Supt Saiful Bahri said although Sasa's body was identified by her father, the authorities would only make a confirmation after a DNA test is completed.

Hospital director Dr Nik Mohd Faizal Zainal Abidin said a post-mortem report revealed that Sasa could have died about two weeks ago.

"The body was intact. It could have been in the river for between seven and 14 days," he added.

Midah Angah, 38, who is the mother of Norieen and Haikal, said she had given up hope that her children would be found alive.

Kelantan police chief Datuk Mazlan Lazim said police would now focus the search at Sungai Perias and deploy divers there.

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