Bodies of missing Bhutanese men, including two from Tukwila, reportedly found in Spokane River
By STEVE HUNTER
Tukwila Reporter Reporter
July 7, 2011 · 10:22 AM
Spokane Police believe they have found the bodies of the three missing Bhutanese men, including two men from Tukwila and one from Spokane, in a car removed Wednesday evening from the Spokane River.
Just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, a vehicle was pulled to shore and identified as the missing black Acura belonging to a missing Bhutanese man, according to a Spokane Police media release. Detectives believe the three bodies recovered from inside the car are the three missing Bhutanese men, but positive identification has not been made.
Dilli Ram Bhattarai, 28 and Krishna L. Dhital, 21, both of Tukwila, and Krishna Dhakal, 17, of Spokane, have been missing since June 11, according to a media release from the Bhutanese Community Resource Center in SeaTac. The men were reported missing June 13 by family members.
The men were last seen in the area of 1600 E. Mission and had not been seen or heard from since, according to police. Family members have worked with the World Relief Organization of Spokane and law enforcement in an attempt to locate the three men.
Detectives found a piece of the missing Acura as well as the license plate on the shoreline across from 1608 E. Mission. Upon a further search, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office helicopter located a vehicle submerged in the Spokane River, several city blocks south.
Members of the Spokane County Emergency Operations Unit responded and assisted in the vehicle recovery. Divers entered the river and attached cables to the vehicle in order to extract it from the river. The mission took several hours due to the extremely strong current and poor visibility.
Bhattarai and Dhital traveled to Spokane to visit family. The three were last seen with a friend at an apartment complex in Spokane. Bhattarai and Dhakal are cousins and Dhital was a neighbor while the three were in refugee camps in Nepal.
The young men have lived in Washington for two years, after spending 17 years in a refugee camp in Nepal, fleeing cultural persecution from Bhutan.
Bhattarai is the father of a baby girl. He was scheduled to report to work on June 13. Dhital just graduated from Foster High School in Tukwila. Dhakal, a sophomore, was to report back to school in Spokane after the weekend they went missing.Contact Tukwila Reporter Reporter Steve Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.