Young Thai woman missing for 1 year makes contact with family

A Thai woman who was filed as a missing person over a year ago made contact with her elder sister on Friday. The 23 year old, from the northeast province of Buriram, reportedly said she broke off contact with her family because she didn’t want them to find out that a Phuket debt collector was chasing her for 100,000 baht. The woman’s 4 year old daughter has been living with her grandmother in Buriram.

Sawitree “Ja” Dathong sought work in Pathum Thani province 2 years ago after she couldn’t find work in Buriram province. Ja’s mother, 55 year old Ki Dathong, said she and Ja’s then 2 year old daughter regularly spoke with Ja via video call.

Around 1 year ago, Ja stopped picking up the phone. Her mother said she wasn’t active on Facebook or Line, so she filed a missing persons report at the police station and put out calls for help via social media in the hope of finding her missing daughter.

Ki posted a message online asking that, if her daughter was still alive, please could she make contact with her mother. The message pleaded Ja to go home whether she had made any money or not.

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Ja’s 31 year old sister Thitima Dathong said she feared the worst when her younger sister went missing and was worried Ja had been tricked by someone or forced into doing something against the law.

Ja made contact with Thitima on Friday and told her the reason she hadn’t been in contact with her family for over a year was because she was embarrassed about her personal debt problems and didn’t want them to find out about the situation. According to Thitima, Ja said a financial company in Phuket was chasing her for more than 100,000 baht after she bought a big motorcycle in Phuket province.

Ja’s location remains unknown, but her family are relieved to hear that she is still alive.


Northern Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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