Cambodia's 'jungle woman' returned to Vietnamese father

By AFP   August 13, 2016 | 06:53 pm GMT+7
Cambodia's 'jungle woman' returned to Vietnamese father
Rochom P'ngieng, dubbed "jungle woman" by Cambodians, sits on a hammock as a Vietnamese man who claims to be her real father sits to her left. Photo by AFP/Chhay Thi

A "jungle woman" who was discovered scavenging naked by a farmer in Cambodia nine years ago, was reunited with her father in Vietnam.

In 2007 the farmer found the woman caked in dirt, hunched over like a monkey and looking on the ground for pieces of dried rice.

She was taken in by a Cambodian family who identified her as Rochom P'ngieng, a girl who went missing in 1989 while herding water buffalo in a northeastern province that borders Vietnam and is home to some of Cambodia's wildest jungle.

It was believed she had spent some 18 years living in the jungle.

Cambodias jungle woman, Rochom Pngieng, sitting with help from her parents at a hospital in Ratanakiri province, some 610 kilometers northeast of Phnom Penh. Photo by AFP

Cambodia's "jungle woman," Rochom P'ngieng, sitting with help from her parents at a hospital in Ratanakiri province, some 610 kilometers northeast of Phnom Penh, on October 29, 2009. Photo by AFP

But nearly a decade later, a 70-year-old Vietnamese man named Peo claimed to be her real father, saying his daughter went missing in 2006, just a year before she was found and has a history of mental health issues.

In a letter given to her Cambodian adopted family last month, Peo said he recognized his daughter, named Tak, after seeing recent photos on Facebook.

Rochom Khamphy, a member of her adoptive Cambodian family, told AFP she was returned to the Vietnamese man Saturday morning after authorities approved his paternity claim.

"We gave her back to his Vietnamese father. Both my family and Vietnamese relatives cried while watching their reunion," he said, adding that the family believed Peo to be her biological father.

"We are going to miss her," Rochom Khamphy told AFP, adding that the woman left his family with no belongings, only "the clothes she was wearing".

The Vietnamese father has agreed to pay the adoptive family $1,500 for taking care of his daughter.

Related news:

Vietnamese man claims Cambodia's 'jungle woman' as his daughter after seeing Facebook photos

 
 
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