Dechen Tshomo

The nine-year-old girl who went missing since December 9 morning was found dead by the stream that flows down by Dechenphug monastery in Dechencholing yesterday.

The body was seen below a small cliff (8 metres), under a canopy of bushes and just above the place is an ECCD centre.

The mother, who works in the newly developed children’s park in Dangrina, had asked the deceased to get a bank book from their house. The house is at a camp located above the golf course and near the road towards Dechenphug monastery around 10:30am on December 9. The girl never reached home.

According to residents, a CCTV footage from one of the buildings near the site where the body was found showed the girl walking alone on the road.

After the girl did not return by evening, the mother and relatives looked for her in the neighbourhood and later filed a missing complaint to Police.

The deceased, the eldest of three children including an infant, lived with the mother who is from Sarpang.

A teacher of Dechencholing Higher Secondary School, where the girl studied in grade II, first spotted the body at around 9am.

The teacher said a search team consisting of teachers, scouts, relatives, and neighbours combed the area since December 10, after the school was informed.

“After receiving the message from our principal, we were looking for the girl until 2am this morning,” she said.

“We resumed today from 8am. I saw something like waste dumped near the stream below. On a closer look, it was the girl’s legs. The body was under the rock so I could see only the legs.”

The teacher said that when the family consulted an astrologer for the second time, they were told that they would find the girl in the area so the search team returned to the area.

Not sure if she saw it right, she called her friends who confirmed it. Then they informed the police personnel in the search team.

She said the search team on the previous day searched in the same area. “I don’t know how we didn’t see it,” she said.

According to police, the girl’s right cheek, hips, right thigh and abdomen were eaten by some kind of animal. Her pant was torn only where the animal attacked her.  “The house key was also found intact in her pant pocket.”

Chief of Police Brigadier Chimi Dorji said, “As of now, we are ruling out rape.”

However, he said the result of the forensic test would confirm. “While we are waiting for the report, we are continuing with our investigation.”

Forensic officials with the national referral hospital in Thimphu had taken swab from the body to see if there is a presence of spermatozoa (sperm cell).

Fang marks were also found on the neck so police are not ruling out attack by wild animals. “Nothing can be said as of now,” the police chief said.

He said the mystery is how the girl who was walking on the road reach the secluded place where the body was found, which is about 200 metres away from the road above the three tanks. “We will be doing everything possible to get this answer.”

The police will seek the Department of Forest’s assistance to confirm if the attack was of a wild animal or some feral dogs. “With their help, we will also set up camera traps in the vicinity to find out if any wild animals were roaming in the area.”

“In the meantime, we are also going to ask around in the vicinity about the girl’s mental stability.”

Looking at the crime scene, police said it looks like no other people have visited the place except for the girl and there were no signs of struggle.

While the search team searched the same area on December 10, the police chief said it seems they missed the bushes. The body was handed over to the mother and relatives yesterday afternoon.

Paro minor rape and murder 

Updating on the rape and murder of a minor in Paro which happened on September 19, the Chief of Police said the police has received the DNA reports of two batches and all tested negative. In the first batch, DNA samples of about six suspects were sent and about eight to 10 in the second batch.

Police are now waiting for the result of the third batch of samples.

A police official said that they have a list of suspects, about 900 including non-Bhutanese and DNA samples were sent in batches to the United Kingdom(UK). 

“We cannot send the samples randomly so we send the samples after careful study.”

It costs the police about Nu 400,000 to send a batch of DNA samples to the UK.

Chief of Police said,  “In this case, nobody is agreeing to come forward. There is no witness to the crime. We’ve designated officers investigating the case.”