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Veteran journalist missing in S Reap

Missing journalist Dave Walker in Phnom Penh last year
Missing journalist Dave Walker in Phnom Penh last year. RICHARD S. EHRLICH

Veteran journalist missing in S Reap

Police in Siem Reap province are looking for veteran Canadian journalist and screenwriter Dave Walker, 58, who went missing from his guesthouse under mysterious circumstances on the afternoon of February 14, police and colleagues said yesterday.

Siem Reap provincial Immigration Police officer Yut Sinin said that Walker had left his room at the Green Village Angkor guesthouse on the afternoon of the 14th, leaving behind his phone, laptop, passport and belongings – and little indication of where he might have gone.

“We are worried about his safety now. Previously, he would usually leave Siem Reap for Thailand for about three or four days, but this time we found that his passport, phone and clothes are still in his guesthouse,” said Sinin, adding that he had posted a notice seeking information on a Siem Reap expat Facebook group.

“The Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh [which handles consular affairs for Canadians] just contacted us [on Tuesday] morning about him going missing, but we will try our best to find him,” Sinin said.

A representative working on Canadian consular affairs at the embassy confirmed yesterday that they had received a missing persons report, and were investigating the matter.

Sonny Chhuon, with whom Walker co-founded the film production company Animist Farm Films, said that staff told him Walker ducked out of his room at about 2pm on February 14 to allow a housekeeper to clean it, carrying just a bottle of water.

“Dave told them, ‘Go ahead, clean the room; I’ll be back in a while,’ then we never saw him again,” Chhoun said, noting that Walker didn’t drink alcohol and had a well-established daily routine.

Chhoun, who typically saw Walker on a daily basis, said he had checked with police, local clinics and restaurants that Walker frequented, but no one had seen him since he left the hotel.

“I just want to say, I don’t think he went anywhere by himself. I think something is wrong. I don’t think he would just leave, with his phone on the charger, and go somewhere,” Chhoun added. “This is very unnatural for Dave. I know him very well.”

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