Family’s anger: Not enough help in finding Anna
THE family of a missing Adelaide grandmother, who mysteriously vanished in Malaysia, has condemned authorities' lack of support and failure to investigate her disappearance.
Annapuranee "Anna" Jenkins, 65, of Glenelg South, went missing on December 13 while visiting her sick 101-year-old mother in Penang.
But Mrs Jenkins' family, and an elite squad hired to find her, have questioned the efforts of Malaysian police and Australian diplomats in the case.
Mrs Jenkins' daughter, Jen Bowen, told The Advertiser her brother had sought help with the search from the Australian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, but the request was denied because the "High Commissioner saw no point to being (in George Town)".
Ms Bowen, 39, of Glenunga, said she did not feel she was getting "much support" from the consulate in Penang, particularly in helping break down language barriers with Malaysian police.
She said she had tried asking questions of Malaysian police but was told they were "too busy".
"I'm not saying they don't care but we're getting very little support in terms of dealing with police," she said.
"My brother has been begging for the consulate to help us with local police. They hadn't appeared to do much about it ... that it was not a priority.
"More than anything we are just really worried, upset that mum hasn't been found, upset that we couldn't do more."
Her frustrations have been echoed by the Gold Coast crack squad hired to find Mrs Jenkins.
Panoptic Solutions founder Troy Claydon is in Penang and his operations manager Ben Hosking, co-ordinating from the Gold Coast, is unimpressed with diplomatic help in Malaysia.
Mr Hosking said the missing woman's son, who cannot be identified, had asked for the Australian Consulate to attend a recent meeting he set up with Malaysian police but consulate staff declined.
"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said they were providing consular assistance. What does that mean?" Mr Hosking said.
"When push came to shove and the son had a meeting with police in the area we're searching, DFAT refused to get involved.
"I can't think of any reason why DFAT wouldn't want to be involved at a more substantial level to find an Australian missing in a foreign country."
In a statement, DFAT said it was providing "consular assistance" which may include liaison with local police.
For the past five weeks, Mrs Bowen and her brother have made several trips to search hospitals, morgues, women's shelters, churches and backstreets of George Town for their "sweet" and "spiritual" mother.
Ms Bowen praised SA Police for looking into Mrs Jenkins' phone and bank records, which had not been touched since her disappearance.
The grandmother of two vanished after a dental appointment and was heading to an aged-care home to visit her sick mother when she requested the Uber driver taking her there to drop her off 4km from the destination.
Mrs Jenkins' phone was accidentally left at the hotel and it was not clear how much cash she had on her.
Her husband, Frank Jenkins, had mistakenly believed on the day of her disappearance he received a frantic call from his wife, who said she was being harassed by someone who wanted her passport.
Ms Bowen said they could not find any incoming phone records on her father's phone proving that call was made on that day.
Ms Bowen had tracked sightings of her mother on New Year's Day at a KFC at Batu Ferringhi, 30 minutes away from where she was last seen, but CCTV footage seen had dashed any glimmers of hope.
A week before her disappearance, Mrs Jenkins had gone for a walk and collapsed, prompting a two-hour search before security guards at a church found her.
"If she wanted to walk away, she would have contacted grandma, she would not leave dad or grandma," Ms Bowen said.
"I'm worried she may have had an effect from the anaesthesia at the dentist."