Penang police chief says waiting for inquest date for Annapuranee Jenkins’s mysterious death case, maintains no foul play

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Penang CPO Datuk Mohd Suhaily Mohd Zain speaks to the press regarding updates from the Annapunaree Jenkins case at Penang police contingent headquarters, October 29, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang CPO Datuk Mohd Suhaily Mohd Zain speaks to the press regarding updates from the Annapunaree Jenkins case at Penang police contingent headquarters, October 29, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 29 — Penang police are waiting for the coroner’s court to fix an inquest date to look into the disappearance and death of Annapuranee Jenkins, 65.

The grandmother from Adelaide, Australia, disappeared here in 2017 and her remains were found three years later.

Penang police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain today said that the Penang prosecution director’s office had on October 14 instructed for an inquest to be held.

He said police had completed the investigation papers on the case, which was classified as sudden death, in August this year.

“The full report was submitted to the Penang prosecution director’s office for further instructions on August 23,” he said during a press conference at the Penang police headquarters

He said it was only this month that the Penang prosecution director’s office instructed that an inquest must be held.

“We are now waiting for the coroner’s court to fix a date for the inquest,” he said.

He said the chemist’s report, post-mortem report and dental report pertaining to the case were only obtained in early August this year.

When asked why it took a year after Jenkins’ remains were found for the reports to complete, he said he is not the expert conducting the tests for the report so it is beyond his scope to reply.

Mohd Shuhaily also stressed that based on the reports, they could not find any criminal elements in the case.

He said the case was classified as a sudden death report (SDR) and full investigations were conducted and police found no signs of foul play in the case.

“We had a forensics team from Bukit Aman, pathologist from Kuala Lumpur and we even brought in the K-9 unit to sweep the area during investigations,” he said.

He denied allegations that the police had failed to conduct proper investigations into the case.

“We take each reported case seriously and I can say, due diligence was done fully for this case,” he said.

As for allegations that there has been a huge delay in police investigations into the case, Mohd Shuhaily said he welcomes detractors to meet the police and discuss with them.

“We can progress this way and Australia is an advanced country, maybe we can share experiences,” he said.

Jenkins went missing on December 13 in 2017 and her husband lodged a police report on her disappearance on December 14 when she failed to return to their hotel in George Town.

Mohd Shuhaily said they took statements from nine witnesses to track Jenkins’ movement on the day she went missing.

He said there was no further information on her whereabouts after she took an e-hailing ride and told the driver to drop her off at Scotland Road.

The police received a call from a local on June 25 last year reporting the findings of what appeared to be human bones under a pile of clothes and a hotel key card.

He said the bones were confirmed to be human and the hotel key card was for a room registered under Jenkins and her husband’s name.

The Bukit Aman forensics team, the Penang Hospital forensics team and the K-9 unit inspected the area on August 12 and found eight bone fragments along with other personal effects such as ring, earrings and shoe.

Mohd Shuhaily said the skeleton was not found in one piece but was in fragments as the site was excavated and cleared for a landscaping project which might have damaged the remains.

He said DNA testing on the bone fragments with that of her son confirmed that they belonged to her.

“We recorded more statements from another six witnesses but could not find any positive information on what had happened to the victim,” he said.

He said a post-mortem on the bone fragments did not find any signs of foul play.

“We have kept in contact with the victim’s family on the progress of the investigation and so far, I don’t see any adverse reactions from the family with regards to our investigations,” he said.

He reiterated that the police take all cases seriously.

As for when the police will return Jenkins’ remains to her family, he said it will have to wait till the inquest is completed and upon formal application from the family.

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