Friday, October 14, 2011

Update: Singaporean Medical Student Still Missing, Last Seen in Athens

As a follow-up to my October 6 posting, the whereabouts of Singaporean Medical student Kouk Leong Jin, 28, continues to baffle Singaporean authorities. With the Hellenic National Police in Athens having developed no viable leads in the disappearance, Kouk's family, as well as the dean of his medical school, have flown to Greece to assist authorities and the Singaporean diplomats in the effort.

COMMENT: Kouk, a fourth-year student at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, was supposed to attend a medical conference in Athens at the time of his disappearance. Mr. Kouk's credit cards have not been used since his disappearance and no hospital in Athens has a record of his being admitted for treatment. Kouk's disappearance became known only after hotel staff contacted authorities days after his hotel room remained untouched. Social media is also being used to promote leads, but thus far none have developed.

Having worked a number of missing persons cases in Greece years ago, it is extremely rare for people to simply disappear. Usually credit cards are used by unauthorized persons, personal effects are found after a disappearance, bodies are found or other testimony or forensic evidence is developed. Yet, in this case, it appears that Kouk simply has disappeared. He had sent one email to a friend indicating that he might take a tour to some of the Greek islands, but no leads from such travel have developed. We'll monitor this case and keep our readers abreast of any new developments. In cases where people simply disappear, suicide is reasonable to consider, but there are no indications that Kouk was depressed or suicidal and seemingly had everything to live for.

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