PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - A woman who disappeared in the jungles of northeastern Cambodia as a child has apparently been found after living in the wild for 19 years, police said Thursday.
The woman - believed to be Rochom P'ngieng, now 27 years old - cannot speak any intelligible language, so details of her saga have been difficult to confirm. "She is like half-human and half-animal," said Mao San, police chief of Oyadao district in Rattanakiri province. "She's weird. She sleeps during the day and stays up at night."
The father of Rochom P'ngieng, a member of the Pnong ethnic minority, said he recognized his daughter by a scar on her back and her facial features, according to Mao San. The father is a village policeman named Sal Lou.
Rochom P'ngieng, then eight years old, disappeared one day in 1988 when she was herding buffalo in a remote northeastern jungle area, said Chea Bunthoeun, a deputy provincial police chief.
She was discovered this month after a villager noticed that food disappeared from a lunch box he left at a site near his farm.