Cambodian officials are awaiting the results of an autopsy being performed in Bangkok to determine whether two charred bodies found on the Thai side of the border are the remains of two Cambodian men reported missing by their family, officials said Friday.
Pich Vanna, chief of the Cambodia-Thailand Border Relations office, said the bodies were discovered by locals in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province near the border with Battambang province on Wednesday evening.
“We just know that two people are dead and almost completely burned,” Major General Vanna said. “When we asked Thai authorities, they said they don’t know what is going on yet.”
Maj. Gen. Vanna said his office still does not know the nationalities of the deceased, but suspects they are Cambodians because two men were reported missing in Battambang province on Friday.
“Mostly we suspect that the victims are Cambodian nationals because their families filed complaints to the Sampov Loun district office and to our office and they claimed that the victims were their family members because they have been missing recently,” he said.
Local farmer Voeun Bean, 30, said his family had reported his older brother, Voeun Ty, 36, and a cousin, Sov Ros, 21, missing after their employer raised the alarm.
“We plan to file an official complaint [Saturday],” Mr. Bean said.
Maj. Gen. Vanna said he tried on Friday morning to lead a team to where the bodies were found, but local Thai authorities turned them away because they had not received permission to let them into Thailand.
He added that he had sent a letter to the Cambodia-Thailand Border Relations office in Thailand requesting access and expected to receive a reply on Saturday.
Neth Sary, Cambodia’s consul general in Sa Kaeo province, said his office was working with Thai authorities to inspect the bodies.
“Thai authorities sent the burned bodies to Bangkok for an autopsy there,” Mr. Sary said.
Chun Luon, chief of the working group on Cambodia-Thailand Border Relations at the Phnom Dei checkpoint in Sampov Loun district, said that the bodies were found on Wednesday night approximately 5.5 km from the border.
He added that he had been informed by Thai authorities that the autopsies would take between 15 and 30 days.