Police in Banteay Meanchey province’s Preah Net Preah district arrested a man on Tuesday over the 2016 death of his father at their home in Phnom Leap commune, according to local police.
Tep Ratha, deputy district police chief, identified the suspect as So Vuth, 29, who was brought back to the crime scene to re-enact what happened on the day of 55-year-old Nib Ith’s death.
“The suspect was arrested at his house where his father died. He is the son of the deceased. He was arrested yesterday and then brought to re-enact the crime. Only he was involved in the death,” Mr Ratha said.
Mr Ratha added that after the re-enactment at the scene, the suspect was sent to the provincial police office for further questioning.
Sith Los, deputy provincial police chief who led the investigation, declined to comment.
Another provincial police officer said the death of Mr Ith was unintentional.
“Actually, this is not a murder case. It was unintentional. The father was an alcoholic and whenever he was drunk, he beat his children and his wife and destroyed property,” the officer said. “This was his nature. Even though his wife was sick in bed, he still beat her.”
“On the night the father died, he came home and destroyed plates and pots, so his wife shouted from upstairs asking him to calm down. He got angry and abruptly went upstairs with a sharp knife to stab her,” the officer added.
At this point, the officer noted, the son intervened and pushed his father down the stairs, telling him not to come any closer to his mother.
“The father was drunk and slipped down the stairs and died. However, the son didn’t know his father died that night. He thought his father went somewhere else after the fall because their house was not very high. He only realized he had died the next morning,” the officer said.
Fearing that he would be accused of killing his father and jailed, the son dumped his father’s body in a nearby rice field, according to the officer.
“The son then escaped for about 16 months. His father’s body was found several days later by a villager,” he said.
He added other relatives then filed a complaint to police in search of the suspect’s whereabouts since he had disappeared without reason.
“So we went to his house and asked the neighbours about him. We had our suspicions and called the mother who then confessed. We persuaded him to come home and arrested him,” he said.
Though the mother played a role in hiding the truth, she will not be prosecuted because she is ill and bedridden, the officer added.
The officer said Mr Vith was sent to the provincial court yesterday afternoon.