Cambodia backpacker: what happened to Amelia Bambridge?
The 21-year-old was last seen in early hours of Thursday at beach party
The family of a British backpacker who has gone missing in Cambodia have flown out to the southeast Asian country to join the search for her.
Amelia Bambridge, 21, from Worthing in West Sussex, was last seen at around 3am local time on Thursday at a beach party on the island of Koh Rong - a popular backpacking spot - off the southern coast of Cambodia.
She was travelling alone but forged friendships with other backpackers, who raised the alarm after she failed to return to the Nest Beach Club hostel, a 40-minute walk away through jungle, The Times reports. Bambridge had been due to check out of the hostel later that day.
“Her bag containing her purse, phone and bank cards has since been discovered on the beach,” the newspaper adds.
More than 140 people have joined the search party, with local volunteers teaming up with “expats, tourists and Cambodian officials including police officers, divers and soldiers”.
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Bambridge’s mother, Linda Schultes, arrived in Cambodia today after flying from the UK. The missing woman’s father, Phil Bambridge, arrived on Sunday after travelling from Vietnam, where he lives. Bambridge’s brother is also understood to have joined the search.
“This is very out of character,” Schultes said. “She is normally so organised. I don’t know what to think. The police have confirmed she is missing - apparently the embassy is closed until Monday. There doesn’t seem to be any urgency.”
Sky News reports that during a phone call with one of her sisters on Wednesday, “several hours before her disappearance”, Bambridge had said she was having “the best time ever” and “was loving it”.
Sister Georgie told the broadcaster that the trip “was doing so much for her confidence and she found so many people who were friendly”.
According to The Guardian, a number of people have claimed online that the parties on Koh Rong often “feature illegal drug use” - allegations that have been rubbished by Igor Bidani, who works at the parties.
“Normally I’m on the gate, and I control the people that come in,” he told the newspaper. “If there are people making problems, I send them away.”