A 32-year-old Italian man missing for nearly a month was found dead on Friday in the jungle interior of Koh Rong island off the coast of Sihanoukville, where he was last known to have stayed, police said.
Kol Phally, provincial deputy police chief, said that the badly decomposed body of Natan Carnevali was found by a group of people who stumbled upon his remains inside a hammock covered with tarpaulin when they went walking into the woods on Friday.
“The body of the victim was found about four kilometers away from the road in the forest inside a hammock after he went missing,” Mr. Phally said. “He is known to have visited Koh Rong island on April 21 and subsequently went missing under mysterious circumstances.”
He added that police did not discover any evidence indicating the Italian was murdered, but found pharmaceutical tablets at the scene that led them to conclude he had committed suicide.
This is not the first time that a foreigner has gone missing and subsequently has been found dead in the dense jungle on the popular tourist island.
In early October, 55-year-old U.S. national Katherine Ann Grgich was found dead after going missing in September, also several kilometers inland. Police concluded that she had been murdered, though no culprit has ever been found.
And in April last year, the doctor for a French reality TV show —blamed for one of the contestants’ deaths while shooting the show off Cambodia’s coast—was found dead in an apparent suicide on the island.
“Since the end of 2013 until now, there have been three cases of missing foreigners on the islands of Sihanoukville, two cases in Koh Rong island, and another case in Ta Kiev island,” Mr. Phally said, explaining that the size of Koh Rong and its large, dense jungle made it easy to get lost.
“Koh Rong is a big island, about 60 square km, and has a big forest,” he said. “Although it is a popular island that many tourists and foreigners enjoy visiting, we have trouble protecting their security because the island’s forest is so big.”
Men Oddom, provincial immigration police chief, said that the victim’s body had already been cremated in accordance with his family’s wishes and with the authorization of the Italian Embassy in Bangkok.
“The Italian officials from the embassy went to investigate the scene on that same day and then, in accordance with his mother’s wishes, his body was cremated near the scene yesterday,” he said.
An official at the Italian Embassy in Bangkok said that the embassy does not deal directly with the media and referred questions to Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which had not replied at the time of writing.
(Additional reporting by Simon Henderson)
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