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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 January, 2005, 13:38 GMT
Boy 'not kidnapped' in Thailand
Kristian Walker, 12, missing in Khao Lak
Kristian Walker's father feared his son is in the hands of traffickers
A young Swedish boy missing after the recent tsunami has not been kidnapped from hospital despite speculation to the contrary, Thai police say.

A police spokesman told Reuters news agency it was a case of mistaken identity over Kristian Walker, 12.

Health officials said no-one of that name had been admitted to hospital.

Kristian's father said he feared the boy been taken by child traffickers after reports that he was seen leaving hospital with a European man.

Kristian's American father, Dan Walker from Stockholm, was quoted as saying: "At first I thought my son was dead, but then my father went to a hospital in Thailand with his picture and everyone at the hospital... recognised him".

The boy was thought to have been hurt when giant waves hit the resort of Khao Lak.

No records

However, Police Captain Chaiyapong Kanpai said there had been a misunderstanding, caused by a Thai doctor who could not tell European children apart.

A German man sought in connection with the case has been cleared after police questioning.

Police say they confirmed his account that he helped reunite two German boys with their parents, and a Swedish youth with his mother.

Vichai Thienthavorn, permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry, told the Associated Press news agency that there was no record of Kristian having been treated at any Thai hospital.

Kristian Walker was on holiday with his mother Madeleine Walker, 45, his 14-year-old brother and seven-year-old sister.

His siblings survived, but Mrs Walker is missing, feared dead.

The family feared that Kristian may have been taken out of Thailand in the chaos that followed the tsunami, when many Europeans were able to fly out without their passports.


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