Twist after family 'find man' missing since the 2004 tsunami

·2-min read

An Indonesian family’s dream of being reunited with a loved one who disappeared during the 2004 tsunami has been dashed.

The family of police officer Abrip Asep said he was on duty when the tsunami and earthquake hit Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh on December 26 2004.

Abrip Asep was declared dead after the 2004 tsunami. Source: Newsflash/Australscope
Abrip Asep was declared dead after the 2004 tsunami. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami struck on Boxing Day and around 230,000 people lost their lives, making it one of the biggest natural disasters ever.

Abrip was reported as missing and was later declared dead.

However, the family believed Abrip had resurfaced after photos were shared on a social media family chat group of a man who has spent the last 16 years in a psychiatric institute.

The man appeared to bear a strong resemblance to the missing cop and the family got their hopes up.

An aerial picture shows the devastated area of Banda Aceh following the 2004 tsunami disaster. Source: Getty
An aerial picture shows the devastated area of Banda Aceh following the 2004 tsunami disaster. Source: Getty

However, the local police carried out a DNA test and the results ruled out any family ties between the patient and Asep’s family.

“There was no DNA match. So we don’t know who is the family of the man we thought was Asep," police spokesperson Legowo Hamijaya said. 

The family said they were disappointed by the outcome, but accepted the test result.

The man (left) who the family mistook for their loved one. Source: Newsflash/Australscope
The man (left) who the family mistook for their loved one. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

“We were sure that we were right, but the test showed otherwise," family representative Hidarsel said.

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami was one of the worst natural disasters in history, killing around 230,000 people. 

Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh was the worst hit region, recording some 170,000 deaths and 38,000 missing people.

Australscope

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