Outpouring of grief as missing Thai boy in Tokyo found dead

CCTV footage shows a Thai boy, 14, leaving his hotel room in Tokyo on Monday night. He was found dead on Wednesday morning. (Image from the Facebook page of Yuwajitra Watchara-arpa)

The mother of a 14-year-old Thai boy who went missing from a hotel room in Tokyo on Monday night said on Wednesday she had found her son, but he had died peacefully from an "accident".

Yuwajitra Watchara-arpa did not reveal the cause of her son’s death. She wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday morning: “Dear All, many thanks for your concern and encouragement. We have found Tien and he passed away peacefully from an accident. At this moment, we beg you to give our family privacy. We will neither answer any queries nor accept any contact requests.’’ 

Many netizens conveyed their condolences on the passing of her son on her Facebook page.

Tien Sookhanonsawat, 14, Ms Yuwajitra's eldest son, went missing from a room in the Mercure Tokyo Ginza hotel on Monday night after the family arrived in Tokyo on Monday afternoon for a holiday.

Footage from the hotel's CCTV shows the boy walking towards a lift on Monday night. (Yuwajitra Watchara-arpa Facebook page)

On discovering her son had vanished, Ms Yuwajitra alerted police and asked to see the hotel’s security video footage, which showed the boy leaving the room on the fifth floor at 11.35pm on Monday. Wearing hotel slippers, the boy was seen walking towards a lift.

Her mother turned to social media for help. She posted pictures of her son on her Facebook page on Tuesday, saying he had no jacket, money, or mobile phone. She feared he might have been abducted or had an accident while walking the streets at night. She said her son had been missing for 22 hours at the time of her post.

The post quickly went viral, and netizens reacted with shock and sorrow on hearing of the boy's death. 

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Busadee Santipitaks said on Wednesday that the ministry had been informed of the boy’s death, and that officials from the Thai embassy were helping the family.

Ms Busadee said the cause of death was unknown, and they were waiting for autopsy results.

Thai media reported that Japanese police found the boy's body at 1.19am (local time) on April 17.


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