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Sunday, August 26, 2001

Ellie's family fly home with her ashes (Sabah)

KOTA KINABALU: The family of British schoolgirl Ellie James, 17, who died on Mount Kinabalu flew home with her ashes early yesterday.

Her parents, Bruce and Claire, and brothers Thomas, 19, and Henry, 15, left the state capital on a 6am flight on their way back to Britain.

They were seen carrying a small tajau, a locally made ceramic jar, containing the ashes of Ellie who was cremated on Friday.

The family from Cornwall, England, was scheduled to hold a memorial service for Ellie when they reach home.

Another ceremony will be held in Germany where her parents are based.

Ellie's body was recovered on Aug 22 near the summit plateau of Mount Kinabalu. She and Henry lost their way in the thick fog while descending from the mountain's highest point, Low's Peak during the early morning hours on Aug 16.

Their parents raised the alarm when the two siblings failed to return to the Laban Rata resthouse near the summit by 10am and park rangers immediately conducted a search for them.

Henry was found six hours later near St John's Peak where his sister had apparently left him so that she could seek help, but she was never seen alive again.

A post mortem at the Queen Elizabeth hospital here showed that Ellie died from prolonged exposure to the sub zero temperatures near the mountain summit.

Her family has set up a memorial fund to help among others the people of Kampung Kiau Nulu at the foothills of the mountain and to provide equipment for the mountain guides of Mount Kinabalu.

Source: The Star

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