Janet Southwell, the mother of 34-year-old Gareth Huntley who was found dead in the Malaysian jungle last year, has remained convinced that her son’s disappearance and death was definitely suspicious.
The British mum has been in Malaysia this week to give evidence at an inquest into her son's death, which has now been adjourned until September 1.
In an interview held outside the Coroner's Court in Kuantan, Pahang, where an inquest is being held into the volunteer’s death, Southwell was quoted as saying, "I don't believe he got lost. I don't. I can't. I think it's suspicious."
Southwell seemed unsatisfied with the results of the investigation on her son’s death. Obviously, she didn’t believe that Gareth died a natural death. Of course, we can't expect her to accept that her son died from natural causes when it looked suspicious from the get-go. No mum would simply agree to the results of the investigation.
The former Bradford man, whom his mother described in court as outgoing, incredibly fit and healthy, was believed to have gone jungle trekking on May 27 last year.
According to Malaysian Insider, Huntley’s friends who worked with him at Juara Turtle initiated a search when he failed to return to join them for a planned snorkelling dive.
The Briton’s body was found on June 4 in Kampung Juara, with the help of a 154-strong search party consisting of commandos, police, Fire and Rescue Department as well as Rela members.
Last year, Malaysian police said that they could not rule out the possibility of foul play in Huntley's death, while a village chief in the area where Huntley's body was found said locals believed something sinister had happened to the Briton.
Pahang Criminal Investigation Department chief assistant commissioner Mohd Zakaria Ahmad had said then that the police were investigating the possibility that Huntley had been killed, but added that the initial autopsy had not found injuries which indicated foul play.
Well, if there was really foul play on Huntley’s death, it will be heartbreaking on the side of his family especially his mum Janet. Malaysian government should do something about the case because the Huntley and Southwell families are still on constant nightmare. Surely, they need justice for Gareth and the only thing that can pacify them is the truth behind the backpacker’s early passing.