Dechen Tshomo

The camera traps set in Dechenchholing captured four dogs in the area where the body of a  nine-year-old girl was found on the night of December 12.

The forest officials installed two camera traps in the area to ascertain if a wild animal attack was the cause of the girl’s death.

Chief of Thimphu’s forest division, Gyeltshen Drukpa, said they would continue monitoring the footages for a few more days.

He said that going by the physical examination the forest officials suspect an animal belonging to a cat family could have attacked the girl.

“This is based on what we know about the big cat’s hunting characteristics. We are trying to confirm if the cause of the death is because of wild animal attack, for which we are gathering evidence,” said Gyeltshen Drukpa.

“If the attack is confirmed to be by the big cats we have to put in measures in place, as once these animals develop a taste for humans, they become man-eaters,” he added.

The forest officials are also carrying out a wildlife survey. They are asking the community members if they had encountered or heard about any big cats in and around the area.

He said that if the forensic team confirms that the small piece of fabric found stuck on the barbed wire fence above the road is of the girl’s jacket then it could help in finding how she reached the site where her body was found.

“If the forensic results and our findings match, we can confirm the cause of the girl’s death,” he added.

The Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) yesterday posted on Facebook that the news about the missing girl had gripped the public in shock and deep concern. Such public sentiments, the police said, were only natural and that RBP was doing everything possible to establish facts.

It states that the police investigation team, along with the forensic experts and medical team from the national referral hospital conducted detailed inquest and scene examination.

“Upon a thorough forensic examination of the body and the surrounding areas, the team did not find evidence of sexual assault.” RBP said.

According to RBP post, further examination of swabs collected by the hospital’s forensic team did not find the presence of spermatozoa (sperm cell). “The forensic experts also did not find any visible semen stains or seminal discharge under Polilight on the clothing and undergarment worn by the deceased,” RBP facebook post said

Polilight is a portable, high-intensity, the filtered light source used by forensic experts to detect fingerprints, bodily fluids and other evidence from crime scenes and other places.

RBP has said that the case would not be dismissed as a mere animal attack. “Every angle and odds to the case will be thoroughly investigated and transparently using all available resources.”

The police have promised to provide regular updates.