Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court yesterday charged an 18-year-old man with premeditated murder after he strangled a 12-year-old girl dead during a botched kidnapping for ransom.
Major General Bon Ben, provincial military police commander, identified the accused as Sokkhoeun Sythy, 18, a pharmacist living in Poipet city.
Maj Gen Ben said the court yesterday charged the accused with premeditated murder and noted that he faces life behind bars if convicted.
“The accused committed the murder on Saturday,” he said. “The victim was Sorth Chhun, a student at Ponlork Khmer private school in Poipet commune.”
Brigadier General Om Phearum, provincial military police deputy commander, said that on Saturday the accused drove his motorbike to pick up the victim after school at about 4pm.
Brig Gen Phearum said the accused was neighbours with the victim and told her that her father had instructed him to pick her up after school and take her home.
The victim, who trusted him, got on his motorbike, Brig Gen Phearum said.
“Instead of bringing her home to her family, the suspect took the victim to his rented room in Poipet city,” Brig Gen Phearum said. “Upon arrival, Mr Sythy tied her up with a scarf and confined her in order to extort $4,000 from her parents.”
“But the victim started shouting and tried to escape her captor,” Brig Gen Phearum added. “At that point, the accused panicked and strangled her while attempting to silence her.”
The accused then placed the body of the victim inside a bag and waited until nighttime to dispose of it outside of the city, he noted.
Brig Gen Phearum said that military police identified the accused based on CCTV footage on the same afternoon after the victim’s father reported his daughter’s disappearance to the police.
The accused was later arrested on the same evening at about 7pm. After his arrest, military police found the victim’s body and her family took possession of it for a funeral.
Brig Gen Phearum added that the accused has been jailed pending his trial.