Remains not Flynn’s: JPAC

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Photo by: Michael Hayes
JPAC employees sift through soil looking for human remains earlier this month as part of a five-day operation undertaken near Phka Dong village in Kampong Cham province.
The Phnom Penh Post
HUMAN remains discovered in Kampong Cham province last month that some said could be those of missing war photographer Sean Flynn do not appear to be those of a Caucasian, according to preliminary test results, US embassy spokesman John Johnson said Sunday.

Flynn, son of the Australian-American Hollywood actor Errol Flynn, went missing in Cambodia in 1970 along with his friend and fellow photographer Dana Stone.

Last month, two men – 29-year-old Australian Dave MacMillan and 60-year-old Briton Keith Rotheram – made international headlines when they announced that they had found bones in Kampong Cham’s Phka Dong village that they said could be Flynn’s.

After discovering the remains, MacMillan and Rotheram turned them over to the US embassy for processing by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), a US military institution in Hawaii that forensically analyses evidence that may lead to the repatriation of Americans killed in overseas conflicts.

“Preliminary tests make it seem like the remains do not belong to a Caucasian,” Johnson said, adding that JPAC officials had been hindered in their work by the unscientific manner in which the bones were exhumed.

“The remains themselves were damaged by the method of their extraction,” Johnson said.

MacMillan and Rotheram could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

Tim Page, a photographer and friend of Flynn’s from their time in Southeast Asia, on Sunday criticised what he said was a haphazard approach to the dig by MacMillan and Rotheram. The JPAC results, he added, brought a bit of relief to him and other friends who have been searching for Flynn and Stone.

“At least it’s been resolved, and that means we can keep on with the search,” he said.

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