MONKS from a Buddhist temple in Leeds attended a moving ceremony at the grave of 'The Lady of the Hills' in Horton-in-Ribblesdale on Saturday. 

The four monks were there at the invitation of the Thai Women's Network to chant prayers at the grave of Lamduan Armitage, nee Seekanya, whose body was found at Sell Gill, near Penyghent in 2004.

The identity of Lamduan remained unknown until early 2019 when the Cold Case Review Unit of North Yorkshire Police achieved a breakthrough using a combination of media coverage and DNA testing.

A BBC Online article about the case in the January of that year was brought to the attention of Lamduan’s parents in Udon Thani, Thailand. They came forward, and DNA testing confirmed the woman was their daughter, who they had not seen since 2004.

The tragic tale touched the hearts of Horton residents and more than 40 people, including parish councillors, residents and police officers, attended a funeral service in September, 2007.

The parish council donated a burial plot in the village cemetery, next to St Oswald's Church and, in 2012, residents raised money for a suitably worded memorial plaque.

The Rev Stephen Dawson, priest in charge at Horton-in-Ribblesdale, said: "The presence of four monks in Horton from the Buddharam Temple in Headingley heralded a sad ceremony in the village. Thai monks attend requiems in even numbers but on happier occasions they preside in odd numbers.

"The Thai Women's Network assists individuals in reducing and resolving problems faced by Thai women and children living in Europe.

"Many women find it difficult to integrate into societies abroad as they do not speak English well or have careers outside the home. Domestic abuse victims find it difficult to approach the authorities and abuse may end in catastrophe."

Rev Dawson added: "The ceremony was led by the Abbot of the Buddharam Temple and ten members of the women's network attended and filmed the event. A tour of the church followed and greetings were exchanged. Flowers and incense were placed on Lamduan's grave."

In February this year, police said enquiries in Thailand as part of the ongoing investigation into the death of Lamduan were at an end.

It was established that she was married mother of three who was living in northern England at the time of her unexplained death, and would now be about 55 years old.

During their meeting with family liaison officers, Lamduan’s parents were handed a memorial book that was put together by police.

It included photographs of the funeral service held in Horton in 2007.