Cops, press visit site where bone, missing Australian woman’s hotel keycard found

Northeast district police chief Soffian Santong (left) showing where Annapuranee Jenkins’ belongings were found by construction workers near the Penang Turf Club last month.

GEORGE TOWN: Police today took the press to visit a site near the turf club here where a key belonging to a missing Australian woman, and clothes and other items were found, along with unidentified human remains.

This was after construction workers building a feature pond amid a natural waterfall near the turf club chanced upon the items on June 24.

Northeast district police chief Soffian Santong said police had established that a keycard of the Jen Hotel found at the site had been in the possession of Annapuranee Jenkins, 65, at the time she disappeared on Dec 13, 2017.

However, police have yet to ascertain if clothes and personal items such as a handbag, an asthma inhaler and a rosary, also found there, belonged to her. The items have been photographed and sent to the family in Australia for identification.

Malaysian-born Jenkins, fondly known as Anna, had then been in Penang on a short holiday with her husband Frank when she disappeared.

Soffian also said police could not conclude that the pelvic bone found there was Jenkins’ until it passed a DNA match.

The garden under construction has been off-limits since late last month, say police.

He said arrangements were being made for a DNA sample from a family member in Australia to be sent to Penang for matching.

“If the DNA matches, we will obtain a court order to dig up this entire area to find the rest of her remains,” he told reporters.

Soffian said the construction site was previously a thick jungle and was cleared last year for the construction of a garden.

He said construction proper began in March, but stopped after the movement control order began.

Soffian said when the lockdown was lifted last month, workers digging up the site chanced upon a pelvic bone, along with the clothing and personal effects on June 24.

The site was a ‘jungle’ before it was cleared last year, say police.

Soffian also revealed additional details on the sequence of events preceding her disappearance.

He said on Dec 13, 2017, Jenkins had walked to her dentist on Burma Road from her hotel along Magazine Road, 5km away.

Soffian said right after her appointment, she had gone to a church, then hailed an Uber ride to Batu Lanchang Lane to visit her mother at an old folks’ home.

Police had earlier said she had left her hotel in a taxi on Dec 13, 2017, and gone for a dental checkup at a clinic along Burma Road. After her appointment, the receptionist helped her to hail an Uber ride to her mother’s care home along Batu Lanchang Lane. However, she alighted short of the care home at Scotland Road and has not been seen again.

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