Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 7): Family of British girl who died on Kinabalu to cremate her

Friday, August 24, 2001

By Muguntan Vanar and Ruben Sario

KOTA KINABALU: British schoolgirl Ellie James, 17, who died after she went missing on Mount Kinabalu a week ago, will be cremated at a private crematorium here today.

The family’s locally appointed undertakers claimed the body at 2.30pm yesterday after a post-mortem was conducted by pathologist Dr Jessie Hiu at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here.

Ellie’s body was kept at the Fook Liew Siew funeral parlour at Jalan Tuaran here.

A memorial service will be held at 9am today before her body is taken to the crematorium in Likas.

Her parents Bruce James, 54, and Claire, 49, together with brothers Henry and Thomas are expected to fly home with the ashes.

Ellie James body

SOMBRE MOOD… Ellie’s body being wheeled into the Queen Elizabeth Hospital mortuary by Yayasan Sabah paramedics, Wednesday night, where a post mortem was believed to have been conducted overnight.


The family is originally from Cornwall in the Britain and have been residing in Germany.Ellie, who trekked up the mountain with her family, had gone missing with Henry while descending Low’s Peak on Aug 16. Henry was found near St John’s peak about six hours later.

Dr Hiu said she was preparing the post-mortem report on the cause of death but declined to give details, saying that the report would be submitted to the hospital’s director Datin Dr Rahimah Said.

Ranau district police chief Asst Supt Dzulbaharin Ismail said police have not received the report, adding that investigations were in progress.

Sources say it was likely that Ellie had died of hypothermia caused by prolonged exposure to the very cold conditions near the summit of the 4,095m Mount Kinabalu.

The sources say apart from bruises, Ellie did not suffer any broken bones and appeared to have been dead for at least three to four days before searchers found her body sprawled on a 60« slope about 500m below St John’s Peak on Wednesday.

Mount Kinabalu Tragedy: A tribute to Ellie James (1985-2001)
Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 2): Setback in search for girl
Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 3): Signs that missing British girl still alive
Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 4): “Spirits” had lured Ellie astray
Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 5): British girl found dead on Mt Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu Tragedy (Part 6): Ellie’s parents set up memorial fund to help villagers

Resource: The Star Archive

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