It’s been seven years since the Buriram couple’s young daughter mysteriously disappeared, after graduating and going job hunting in Chon Buri province but Viroj and Tiang Kothaisong will not give up hope of finding her.
Viroj, 57, and Tiang, 50, of tambon Pakhiab in Khu Mueang district of Buriram, fear their daughter Pavinee Kothaisong, known as Nong Kae, is a victim of human traffickers.
After getting her bachelor’s degree from Ubon Ratchathani Rajabhat University in May 2013, she went to Laem Chabang, in Chon Buri’s Si Racha district, and applied for a hotel job.
She was still hoping for work when she disappeared a month later. She was just 23-years-old.
Her parents have sought help from government agencies and from the Mirror Foundation, an NGO which specialises in missing person cases, and members of the public to no avail.
Seven years of hope and suffering, and still not a trace of Pavinee.
“We will never stop looking”, the couple told Thai media at their home in Pakhiab. Whenever they hear that a woman resembling Pavinee has been seen, they immediately rush to see for themselves. It has never been her.
The couple said Pavinee had phoned her parents once or twice a week for the first month after arriving in Laem Chabang. In June of that year, she fell silent. Her family in Buriram have not heard from her since, and she has not been seen.
They asked friends, colleagues and relatives working in Chon Buri to help trace her. Nobody had seen or heard from her. Nor had anyone they talked to.
The couple then went to their daughter’s rented room in Chon Buri. Her clothes, other belongings and all the documents she used in applying for jobs were still in the room.
Only her mobile phone and a shoulder bag she used regularly were missing.
They believed she had been taken by human traffickers.
A tearful Tiang said she was convinced Pavinee was still alive. She prayed at the spirit house in front of their house every day, asking for help finding her, and for her protection.
She and her husband had travelled the country, following up reports she may have been sighted. They had turned to fortune-tellers, mediums and spirits for help.
With the New Year approaching, the only gift she hoped for was news of her daughter.
Viroj said everyone in the family had grieved since Pavinee’s mysterious disappearance.
He had even sold his six-wheel truck, which he used to earn a living from their farm, to get money to cover their travel expenses when looking for her.
They were at their wits’ end, he said, and appealed to anyone who may be able to help them find her to come forward.
They had three daughters, he said. Pavinee was the eldest child. Their second daughter had just graduated and already had a job. The youngest was still at school.
Since her disappearance, they have repeatedly warned their other daughters not to trust anyone too easily so they won’t suffer the same fate as Pavinee.
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