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AN appeal to bring the body of a Bristol man back home after he died suddenly in Thailand is more than two-thirds of the way to its target.
Yesterday evening the total pledged on a crowdfunding website set up to pay the cost, estimated at up to £15,000, of repatriating Sam Austin passed the £10,000 mark, with more than 400 individual backers donating via PayPal and credit or debit cards by 7.45pm. Last night the total had stood at just over £7,500.
The Bristol Post reported earlier today that Sam, 26, who was living in St George before he left to make a new life in Thailand, died weeks after arriving in the country he had visited many times before.
His mum Kalpana Austin, who lives in Bedminster, is desperate for her son’s body to be brought home.
Mr Russell said: “The Thai authorities do things very differently to the police in this country.
“For this reason, it has been very difficult to get any information about the circumstances of Sam’s death.”
One of their friends, Jacob Jones, who was already in Thailand, has been given power of attorney to deal with affairs and has already formally identified Sam’s body.
He was hoping to find out more information from the Thai authorities today.
Mr Russell said they had no idea at this stage how long it may take before Sam’s body could be returned to England.
There would have to be an autopsy and possibly an inquest, which might delay repatriation.
An inquest is also likely to be held in the UK, as unexpected deaths of Britons abroad are investigated by a coroner here.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are aware of the death of a British national on 13 November in Thailand. We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time.”
To pledge money to the fun click here