Family are devastated as DNA test reveals man in psychiatric ward is NOT cop declared dead after 2004 Indonesia tsunami: Relatives thought patient was loved-one they’d spent 16 years looking for
- The family of police officer Abrip Asep said he was on duty when the tsunami hit
- A man they believed to be Asep was found in a psychiatric hospital 16 years later
- They thought their relative had suffered mental health issues from the trauma
- However, a DNA test has shown that the man – who bears a strong resemblance to Asep – is not their family member, leaving the family devastated
An Indonesian family has been left devastated after a DNA test revealed a man is not a police officer who was declared dead in the 2004 tsunami after they discovered his doppelganger in a psychiatric ward.
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami struck on Boxing Day and around 230,000 people lost their lives, making it one of the largest natural disasters in recorded history.
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 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.
An Indonesian family has been left devastated after a DNA test revealed a man is not Abrip Asep – a police officer who was declared dead in the 2004 tsunami after they discovered his doppelganger in a mental institution
Abrip Asep was on duty when the Indian Ocean tsunami struck Indonesia on Boxing Day in 2004, his family said. Pictured: The aftermath of the tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia
The man appeared to bear a strong resemblance to the missing cop and the family got their hopes up.
However, the local police carried out a DNA test and the results ruled out any family ties between the patient and Asep’s family.
Police spokesperson Legowo Hamijaya said: ‘There was no DNA match. So we don’t know who is the family of the man we thought was Asep.’
The family said they were disappointed by the outcome, but accepted the test result.
Family representative Hidarsel said: ‘We were sure that we were right, but the test showed otherwise.’
The family believed that Asep had found in a psychiatric hospital after suffering from mental health issues due to the traumas he witnessed during the tsunami.
This man (left) was found in a psychiatric hospital in Aceh province, Indonesia. It was believed he was suffering from mental health issues due to what he witnessed during the tsunami
A relative said at the time: ‘I couldn’t believe it, 17 years of no news and we thought that he passed away, we didn’t know he was still alive.’
The results of the DNA test came despite the local police confirming in May that the man found in the psychiatric hospital was Abrip, reported as missing during the tsunami and later declared dead.
A spokesperson for the Aceh Regional Police said: ‘Even though he is experiencing mental illness due to the tsunami, his family is very grateful to have found him alive.’
However, the test now shows they were incorrect.
The archipelago nation of Indonesia was the worst hit country in Southeast Asia when the Indian Ocean earthquake was followed by a tsunami on December 26, 2004.
The archipelago nation of Indonesia was the worst hit country in Southeast Asia when the Indian Ocean earthquake was followed by a tsunami on December 26, 2004. Pictured: The aftermath of the tsunami in the coastal area of Banda Aceh, Indonesia
The tsunami was the effect of an underwater earthquake just after 1am on Boxing Day, the third largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph, with a magnitude of 9.0-9.3.
The gigantic water movement that followed saw waves of up to 100ft hit the coasts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.
Indonesia was seriously affected by the tsunami, suffering at least 167,000 casualties, a number which is thought to be closer to 200,000.
But it is unlikely that this will ever be confirmed as thousands of bodies could never be recovered as they were swept out to sea by the powerful waves.
Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh was the worst hit regions.
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