Officer Who Was Assumed Dead After Aceh’s Tsunami 17 Years Ago, Found Alive in Mental Hospital

(source: SInar Harian)

In today’s bizarre news – an Indonesian policeman who was assumed missing and/or dead in 2004 has been found, 17 years later!

According to Sinar Harian, Bharaka Zainal Abidin went missing during a tsunami that hit Aceh in the year 2004. Skip to 2021, he has been found in Banda Aceh Mental Hospital.

Bharaka, who’s nickname is Asep was appointed as the security operations assistant for the Brimob Regiment II Kedung Halang Bogor Polis Aceh during the tsunami. He was placed in Banda Aceh when there are still remnants of the group Free Aceh Movement.

However, when the devastating tsunami hit Aceh, Asep was reported missing.

Asep then & now. (source: Kompas)

For all those years missing, many of his family and friends thought he was dead.

Turns out, Asep has been a patient at the mental hospital since 2009. At one point, he even tried to live independently in a small village called Fajar, but was not accepted by the residents which then caused him to return to the hospital. What happened from 2004 to 2009 though, remains a mystery.

For now, the Aceh Regional Police said it would conduct tests on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to confirm his identity. Police are also coordinating with his family in West Java.