Mystery Surrounds Death of Denpasar Man as Wife Disappears


Mystery still surrounds the death of a man whose decomposed body was found on waste ground near Denpasar last Friday, with police confirming that they have been unable to trace the victim’s wife.

The body was found in bushes at the side of Jl Bypass Ngurah Rai early on Friday morning by a local resident, Mahmud Al Imron.

Imron spotted the body after noticing a flock of birds gathered in the vicinity.

“I was scared and immediately starting shouting and calling for help from other people,” he said.

From a driver’s license found at the scene the dead man was identified by police as Gede Arta, a 42-year-old public minibus driver from Pegok, Jl Raya Sesetan, Denpasar. The body was later transferred to Sanglah Hospital for autopsy.

“We certainly can’t yet come to any conclusions about the cause of death of this victim,” South Denpasar Police chief Gede Ganefo said.  He said initial examinations had revealed evidence of severe trauma to Arta’s head, neck and upper body, but added that a bottle of liquid suspected to be poison was also discovered at the scene and that suicide hadn’t been ruled out.

Head of Forensics at Sanglah Hospital Dr Dudut Rustyadi said the decomposed state of the body made determining the exact cause of death difficult.

“The internal organs are badly decomposed so it’s difficult for us to identify whether he had done some injury to himself, such as drinking poison,” Dr Rustyadi said.

Arta was last seen some 12 days before the discovery of his body by his younger brother, Komang Gede Putra.  The victim’s wife, Ni Ketut Purwati, is understood to have disappeared around a week later.

“They had reportedly quarrelled and we’re awaiting clarification about that from the victim’s wife,” a police source said, adding that although officers had been unable to contact Purwati, she was thought to be in Java.

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