NEWS

Edmonton family pleads with Ottawa over mysterious death in Asia

07/14/2015 02:10 EDT | Updated 07/14/2016 05:59 EDT
Prayers and a petition are the last resort for a desperate Edmonton family as investigators attempt to close the file on a mysterious death in Southeast Asia. 

Twenty-eight-year-old Nara Pech died in January at the Laos international airport on his way home to Canada. 

An autopsy report says he died of stab wounds by suicide. But the family believes his death was suspicious as injuries to his arms appear to be the result of a struggle, and four knives were found near his body.

Now his sister, Sarena Armsworthy, says authorities want to close the file. She is refusing to send the documents they need to do that until she learns more about what happened. 

"My parents came to Canada thinking that we would have a better life," she said. "And they [the Canadian government] have failed us." 

Her family, who are all Canadian citizens, immigrated from Thailand in 1986. Pech travelled back to the region at the beginning of 2015 to learn more about his history and culture when he cut the trip short. 

Armsworthy said RCMP have not questioned her or the two men who were traveling with Pech at the time. Officials in Laos have refused to release the airport surveillance video. The family is losing hope. 

"I want the government to give me what my family deserves," Armsworthy said as tears streamed down her face. "We want the truth, we want justice and we want to finally close this chapter and move on with our lives." 

She's circulating a petition in a last attempt to pressure the government to do more.

CBC asked the RCMP to comment, but a spokesperson wasn't available.

Erica Meekes, a spokesperson for the office of the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular) would not answer questions on the file, but sent the following statement by email.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of a Canadian Citizen who passed away in Laos. Canadian consular officials continue to provide assistance to the family, liaise with local authorities, and they have asked for a timely and transparent investigation. To protect the privacy of the individual concerned, further details on this case cannot be released."

The family is considering hiring a private investigator. 

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