It has been a bad week for expat deaths in Phnom Penh as news reaches us of yet another death, this time of US missionary Dr David Drueding, 66, who was found dead in his room at the Heng Pich Guest House on Street 84, directly opposite Calmette Hospital. He is believed to have died from natural causes.
Dr Drueding has been working as the Executive Montessori Program Director at Phnom Penh Montessori International Day Care and Pre-School since February 2013 where he was responsible for the development of two Montessori Schools.
He was also a priest / missionary attached to the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches dedicated to ‘Bringing the Word to the Children of the Far East.’
He was a former US Marine and spent many years teaching English as a Second Language in places as diverse as Iraq, Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia and most recently Cambodia.
It has also come to light that Drueding has an extensive criminal record in the US, with various convictions for domestic violence, larceny and being drunk and disorderly. These convictions occurred after he had established his mission.
It is not immediately apparent why Drueding was staying in a small Guest House considering he lived here, but his last Facebook pages point to some recent financial problems brought about by a theft. On March 30th he posted:
“I am alive and well. I have been offline because of my computer going in for repairs here in Cambodia, and the charges to get it back kept changing higher and higher….if you are not a Cambodian the assumption is that you are a rich tourist which I am NOT, as well as being robbed by 2 men of my wallet, cash, ATM card, and IDs. It has been a stressful month, but God is good and everything will work out. The real problem is no access to $$$$ since my ATM card is taking 10 days to come by FED EXPRESS. So prayers are requested for God’s provision. I am eating on $5.00 a day so I am eating a lot of steamed white rice and little else, not the best diet to regain my strength. But I am thankful for what HE provides…HE is faithful!!!!!”
Dr Drueding seems to have been suffering from poor health recently. His body has been taken to a local pagoda.