Parents of woman found in septic tank thought she went missing

Tashi Dema 

It was in July 2018. An employee of a canteen near the Druk Green Power Corporation office in Changangkha, called her father to inform that  she would come to meet them with vegetables. The family staying at thromde’s labour camp in Langjuphakha waited.

She did not turn up. It has been more than three years.

When the family members called her that day, she did not answer. They called the husband who said she was not home when he returned from work.

The family kept calling her, but by 10:30pm her phone was switched off. The family members looked for her, consulted astrologers and conducted rituals. As days turned to weeks and months, they finally gave up. They believed she ran away and expected her to return one day.

More than three and half years later, the family members found her, but not in person.

The woman, mother of three, who was believed to have gone missing  in 2018 was found in a septic tank in Changangkha last week.

The father told Kuensel that he broke his leg in an accident few months before his daughter went missing and  couldn’t go and look for her.

In tears when talking, the 69-year-old man said he cannot still believe his son-in-law murdered his daughter and acted as if she ran away. “How could he do that?” He is convinced that his daughter was murdered.

The parents moved to their hometown in Sarpang two years ago.

According to the mother, who worked as a cleaner for the Thimphu thromde, she inquired her son-in-law if he did anything to her daughter on several occasions, but he always denied.

“On the day she went missing, I asked if he informed the police. He said it was a Saturday and she might return by Monday to get the elder child ready for school,” the mother said. “I cannot believe he murdered my daughter and acted innocent all this time.

The victim’s family members said the alleged murderer would come along wherever they went to look for her. “We always believed she ran away and would return one day,” the mother said.

The family followed up with police and even requested telecos to locate her  by her phone, but they were told to bring a court order to check the mobile location.

The victim’s sister said she now believed her brother-in-law premeditated her murder.

“Who would dump the body in a septic tank and act so innocent if he didn’t premeditate the murder,” she said. “We want justice.”

While the superintendent of police in Thimphu refused to comment, it was learnt the woman’s body was found in a septic tank of the house where the husband worked as a caretaker for a private house in Changangkha on February 23.

Forensic experts from the national referral hospital said most part of the body, except for the head, hands and legs, was not damaged because of adipocere formation.  They examined the body and took it to the mortuary for further analysis.

It was learnt the head was also found from the septic tank and forensic officials would further examine her skull and the internal contents.

Thromde cleaners refused to talk to Kuensel saying they have orders not to share any details. The former employer of the victim also said he cannot talk about the matter.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that Gelephu police arrested the victim’s husband on February 23 and sent him to Thimphu for investigation.

Police sources said the man confessed to the crime.

The victim was survived by three children, of which two were staying with the father. The victim’s parents and sister raised the eldest one, who is sitting for the class XII board exams this time.

“I talked to my two younger granddaughters, aged 12 and six, who are worried about their education,” the victim’s mother said. “I want to bring them here and raise them myself.”