Thimphu city is still recovering from the tragic news of the four-year-old boy Loday who went missing on Thursday afternoon only to be fished out the next morning from the Wangchu or Thimp Chhu River, below the Terma Linca Resort in Babesa.
The child’s shirt was stuck in a rock in the middle of the river when the search and rescue party found him at around 9:15 am on Friday morning.
It is still not clear how the little boy, Loday, ended up in the river but initial police investigations suggest that he had gone out with his grandmother, who is in her late 50’s at around one on Thursday afternoon.
The grandmother was later spotted sitting on a rock in the middle of the river at around 3:30 pm by staff of Terma Linca Resort, who rescued her.
The resort staff immediately reported to police as they assumed the old woman was trying to drown herself. When they asked her what she was doing in the middle of the river, the woman was not in a stable mind to response to their question. Instead she narrated all different types of stories.
“The woman never mentioned about the boy,” a resort staff who rescued the woman, said, adding that they might have been able to save the boy. “Somehow we felt the woman was not in her right frame of mind,” the resort staff said.
An extended family member said the grandmother usually did not stay with the family. She was with them just a few days before the tragic incident.
Loday was usually looked after by his aunt, however, on the day he went missing he ran after his grandmother who was heading out.
The extended family member also said the grandmother suffers from short-term memory and keeps forgetting what she does. “Grandmother took Loday with her but we really don’t know what happened and where they went,” she said. “When we asked her, she doesn’t seem to remember anything from the day.”
Thimphu police said that towards evening of April 27 they received a complaint from Terma Linca staff about a woman sitting in the middle of the river. “They brought the woman to police station and later when we handed her over to a relative, we learned that there was a child along with her,” police said.
The family lodged a Missing Person complaint at around eight in the evening and a search team was immediately deployed.
The search continued until mid-night and resumed the next day at 6:00 AM. The body of a child was found at around 9:15 am below the resort.
“We have not questioned the grandmother, therefore we are yet to establish if she is mentally unsound or if what transpired was intentional,” police said.
The police are looking into the psychiatric condition of the grandmother as she hold’s the main key to know what exactly happened to the child.
A forensic report states that the child had no physical injuries. It also states that the child could have been washed away for a short distance since there were no injuries on the prominent parts of the body.
The family resides at Babesa near a junction, which leads to Royal Thimphu College.
The tearful plea of the mother on social media looking for her missing son on Thursday evening lead to a huge public response across the nation.
The news of the death of the son also had strong public impact with many expressing their condolences and sadness on social media.