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Family offers B170k reward over disappearance of US Iraq veteran off Phuket

PHUKET: The family of Joshua Devine, who disappeared off a dive boat north of Phuket three months ago, is offering a reward of $5,000 (more than 170,000 baht) to anyone with information that could lead to his whereabouts.

By The Phuket News

Monday 13 July 2015, 10:07AM

Joshua Devine was reported missing in the early hours of April 11. Photo courtesy of Mermaids Dive Center Facebook page

Joshua Devine was reported missing in the early hours of April 11. Photo courtesy of Mermaids Dive Center Facebook page

Mr Devine, 36 and a US Army veteran who deployed to Kosovo and Iraq, was on an extended dive tour when he was reported missing from the dive boat Chontara about 17 miles off Bang Tao Beach on April 11. (See story here.)

“He’s been in war zones since he was 18, and goes missing while on a diving trip. It just doesn`t equate,” Mr Devine’s sister Jennifer Bakowski told FOXCT. (See story here.)

“We don’t want to put anyone else in danger by coming forward, but we need to bring him home. We need closure to this.”

Witnesses told the family that Mr Devine, who worked as a IT specialist for a private military contractor at an army base in Kuwait, was drunk and somehow ended up going overboard, but his disappearance went unreported for hours.

“Nobody heard a splash. Nobody heard anything about him going into the water, he just ‘magically disappeared’,” Mrs Bakowski said.

Central Phuket

The family released a document to US news agency Fox Connecticut that detailed email conversations between Mr Devine’s sister, the US Embassy and an investigative reporter as the family digs for answers. His family has questioned whether foul play was involved.

Mrs Bakowski and her mother in April joined Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong and members of the Marine Police in their search. (See story here.)

However, they left without finding any clues to Mr Devine’s whereabouts, and the official search ended shortly thereafter.

The family hopes a US$5,000 will help anyone come forward with information, past efforts have turned up no credible leads or information.

“We’ve been told that the Thai community is afraid to go forward. Because people go missing.” Mrs Bakowski said.



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