Bali X- Files
The search for a Balinese woman, Ni Komang Ayu Ardani (37), continues weeks after the woman’s sudden and mysterious disappearance near the Laplapan Bridge in the Village of Petulu on the outskirts of Ubud.
Ardani was driving her black Honda Vario motorcycle on Thursday, 18 March 2021, with her son, Putu Kevin Rumansa (9), and mother-in-law Ni Ketut Reddit (55) as passengers. Riding at night in the rain on an unlit road, Ardani lost control of her vehicle and plunged over the bridge’s edge into the Petulu River with the motorcycle coming to rest below the bridge.
The 9 –year-old-boy was found alive, clinging to a tree he grabbed at the time of the accident. The dead body of his grandmother, Ni Ketut Rindit, was found 100-meters from the accident’s location lying at the bottom of the 15-meter-deep ravine. However, an intense search on the night of the accident and a continuing search by rescue officials and village volunteers for over a week after the accident turned up no sign of Komang Ardani.
Search and rescue workers conducted an extensive search of the surrounding river bank and area downstream from the bridge with no success or sign of where the woman might be.
Officials have now largely abandoned the search, but the woman’s family continues a daily vigil, using means and resources connected with the skala and niskala cosmos (seen and unseen). Holy men and women have been consulted, mystical drawings interpreted, and offerings to help find the missing woman. Family members fervently believe that the woman is still alive by some miracle and will not stop until their search yields definitive results. One family member told Radar Bali that they are prepared, if need be, to search for three years to find their missing family member. The same family member told the press that for at least the three coming years, the family presumes that Komang Ayu is “only asleep.”
“Indeed, continue. We (the family) will continue the search,” said a nephew of the woman, I Wayan Sumirat, on Wednesday, 07 April 2021, some 20 days after the woman went missing. Sumirat refused to comment further on the finding and means employed by the family in the ongoing search.
A niece of the missing woman, Ni Kadek Purniati, told the press from her home in Banjar Teruna in Gianyar that the family was performing meluasan or seeking supernatural signs to assist their search. The “signs” received by the family indicated that “Komang Ayu” – not unlike the fabled Sleeping Beauty, was merely asleep in a yet-to-be-discovered location. “Ragane kari sirep” (she is still sleeping) said Kadek Purniati, adding: “The family is convinced, sooner or later we will find a sign.”
Members of the family come each day from morning until late afternoon to continue their search near the bridge.
Meanwhile, the Village of Lalapan installed a donation box on the bridge that is visited almost daily by curious public members and an assortment of psychics and paranormals from as far away as Yogyakarta and Lombok.
A symbolic burial without the presence of a corpse was held on Monday, 05 April, at 3:00 pm at the Singan Traditional Cemetery in the woman’s home village.