Briton Gareth Huntley missing in Malaysia jungle: Mother asks David Cameron for 'real help' in search
Mr Huntley disappeared after going to visit a waterfall in the jungle
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Saturday 31 May 2014
The mother of British man Gareth Huntley who has gone missing in the Malaysian jungle has urged David Cameron to "make one phone call" to the country's leader "before time runs out".
Mr Huntley was last seen four days ago on Tioman Island, where he was working as a volunteer for a conservation charity.
The 34-year-old left the charity headquarters to go walking by himself and did not return. His mother Janet Southwell said she is “extremely concerned” about her son’s welfare and has not received any official information on the search for him.
In her letter to the Prime Minister, she appealed to him as a father who knows "that we'd do anything for our children" and asked him to "please do the right thing". She wrote: "Make one phone call to the Malaysian leader to insist that they deploy real help to find Gareth before time runs out. He is out there in the jungle and he needs help."
Ms Southwell and her son's father are planning to fly out today to assist in the search.
A Facebook page set up to find Mr Huntley urged the Malaysian police to "work faster" on Friday.
The post said: "He [Mr Huntley] never returned to the Juara Turtle Sanctuary on Tioman Island where he was staying and volunteering.
"We need to find him ASAP and put pressure on the Malaysian authorities, they seem to be dragging this on without urgency, action and results. It's become very unclear whether the Malaysian authorities understand the urgency of the situation and whether they’re acting fast enough, or prioritising this."
Charles Fisher, a manager at the Juara Turtle Project, said he believed police were now doing the best they could in a situation made difficult by the "wilderness" Mr Huntley failed to return from.
He told The Independent that Mr Huntley had left at noon on 27 May and said he was heading along a popular trekking path to visit a waterfall, in what he expected would be a two hour journey.
Volunteers from the project and locals from the community went to search for him after he did not return, but their efforts proved fruitless.
Mr Fisher said: “This is the wilderness location and I think that the police are doing the best that they can in this situation. They have sent out search parties to go looking for him; they have set up a task force and a search and rescue unit.”
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We are aware that a British national has been reported missing in Malaysia since 27 May.
"We are providing consular assistance to the family and are liaising closely with the local authorities."
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...