Police in Phnom Penh have arrested a 30-year-old man suspected of killing his 42-year-old wife in Por Senchey district last week after she refused to give him money to buy drugs.
Captain Ly Sophal, a penal police officer with Por Senchey district police, identified the suspect as Ya Rith, an unemployed man living in Kakab I commune with his wife.
He said the victim was Yin Thinh, 42, Mr Rith’s wife and a garment worker at a Chinese-owned-factory in Kakab I commune. He noted that the couple were originally from Svay Rieng province’s Romeas Hek district.
Cap Sophal said the murder took place at 6.30am on Wednesday in their rental house in Kbal Damrey I village in Kakab I commune.
He said Mr Rith slashed his wife’s throat with a cleaver when he got angry after she refused to give him money to buy drugs.
Cap Sophal added that after killing his wife, the suspect attempted to commit suicide by taking the same cleaver to slash his own throat. He was seriously injured but police were able to rescue him when they arrived at the scene following the incident.
Cap Sophal noted that a neighbour saw the suspect at 5pm on Tuesday asking his wife for money to buy drugs, which she refused. The neighbour added that the couple began arguing that evening until about 6am the next day.
Cap Sophal said that during the argument, the suspect grew angry with the victim for berating him about his drug use. He added that Mr Rith then slashed her throat with a cleaver and she died on the spot.
“He was angry with his wife for berating him about being a drug addict and also threatening to tell police about his drug use,” Cap Sophal said. “He then beat her and strangled her until she lost consciousness.”
“When she became conscious again, he took a cleaver from the kitchen and slashed her throat and she died on the spot,” he added.
“After killing his wife, he attempted to commit suicide by taking the same cleaver to slash his throat until he was seriously injured and laid next to his wife’s body,” he said. “But he had not died yet when police came and rescued him.”
Cap Sophal said that the neighbour who had witnessed them fighting also saw the suspect had killed the victim the next day, which led her to report the incident to commune police.
He said after receiving the report, police went to inspect the couple’s house, where they saw the victim had died and sent the suspect to Preah Kossamak Hospital for treatment.