Taiwanese woman calls for further investigation into sister's death in Australia

Woman criticizes Australian police, airport personnel for mishandling urn containing sister's remains

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Woman surnamed Yeh found dead in Australian home while on working holiday. (Facebook photo)

Woman surnamed Yeh found dead in Australian home while on working holiday. (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The sister of a Taiwanese woman who died of unknown causes during a working holiday in Australia on Wednesday (May 20) urged the Taiwanese government to ask Australian police to investigate further.

According to Yahoo News, a 29-year-old Taiwanese woman surnamed Yeh (葉) was found dead on Jan. 17 at her apartment in Western Australia by her boyfriend, who had been out with friends. Yeh's family said Australian police had promised to treat her death as a homicide but had neither contacted them nor provided any updates.

In a Facebook post published Wednesday, Yeh's sister said the ambulance had been delayed and that local police had failed to close off the crime scene even after ruling out suicide. She added that Yeh's roommate, who had been living in Australia for several years, had returned to Taiwan and could not be contacted.

The sister said she had agreed to have Yeh's body cremated, but she was stunned when she discovered Australian airport staff had placed the urn holding her remains opposite down in a cardboard box. She said she was heartbroken by the careless handling of the urn and even more surprised by the indifference of Taiwanese customs officers.

At the end of her post, Yeh's sister urged the government to investigate the matter. In response, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said Thursday (May 21) that the ministry has contacted the authorities in the Australian city of Perth to request another investigation.

Ou said the Australian police are aware of the ministry's concerns and that they have promised to stay in touch with Yeh's family as well as Taiwan's representative office in Australia, reported ETtoday.