Thimphu police is yet to find out how the four-year-old boy, whose body was found by the banks of the Thimpchhu near Terma Linca Resort, died, the deputy chief of police for crime, Colonel Dorji Wangchuk, said.

He said police had initially registered a missing person case after the boy was reported missing. “But by then we had a woman, who Terma Linca Resort staff claimed was attempting to commit suicide, in police custody to undergo suicide prevention case.”

Colonel Dorji Wangchuk said the boy’s relatives, who are also related to the woman, came to take the woman home saying that she was the last person to have been seen with the boy and that she might know about the boy’s whereabouts.

“But the next day, we found the boy’s body,” he said. “It is a must that police probe into the case and establish how the boy died.”

The deputy chief said that since it was learnt that the woman was the last person to have been with the boy, it is important that they get her statement. “But the woman is in the psychiatric ward and we are waiting for psychiatric report on her mental condition.”

In an earlier interview, Thimphu city police said that the woman kept changing her statement when asked about the whereabouts of the boy.

Thimphu referral hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Gosar Pemba, said the hospital couldn’t disclose the patient’s personal health information.

“We cannot say that a patient is suffering from a certain disease unless we receive a court order to disclose it or the patient’s consent,” he said.

A health official with the national referral hospital’s forensic medicine department, Kunzang Norbu, said that there was no physical injuries found on the body of the boy.

Kunzang Norbu said it appeared that the river current washed the body for about 300 to 400 metres away. “If the body was washed away for about a kilometre or more, there could be physical wounds such as cuts or bruises because of the water current and debris,” he said.

He said that the body was found in the middle of the riverbed and drowning caused the death.

He said that if a person has died of drowning, there will be water in the person’s stomach and lungs. “We don’t have autopsy facility in the country so we cannot say that there is water in the boy’s lungs.”

Kunzang Norbu said that their finding is based on physical examination.

He said it had been more than six hours that the boy had died when the forensic team did the physical examination around 9:30am on April 28. When they reached the scene, the rigor was also fully developed. “Rigor mortis is one of the recognisable signs of death caused by chemical changes in the muscles, which cause the limbs of the corpse to stiffen.”

Dechen Tshomo