Police in Mondulkiri province’s Koh Nhek district on Monday arrested a man over the brutal killing of his 11-year-old son in the district’s Sre Huy commune last month.
District police chief Colonel Khlouk Sothea identified the suspect as Chel Choch, 34, a farmer living in the commune’s Sre Huy village, and the boy as Chel Lean.
He noted that on October 28, Mr Choch took his son to a rice field on the outskirts of the village where he allegedly hacked him on the head, face and chest, causing the boy to die.
Col Sothea said that the suspect then returned home and told his wife Mao Siek, 32, that their son was missing and both went out looking for him but could not locate him.
He noted that later in the evening some villagers found the body in the rice field and alerted police.
Col Sothea said when police questioned Mr Choch, he said that his son had gone missing that morning and both he and his wife could not find him.
He noted that police then investigated the killing over the next few days and found some villagers who claimed they had seen the suspect taking his son to the rice field.
Col Sothea said that forensic tests also found Mr Choch’s fingerprints on the body.
“He was a sorcerer and our district penal police arrested him in his house on Monday,” he said. “He was arrested after his thumbprints were found on the body and based on what villagers told us.”
Col Sothea said that during his interrogation at the district police station, the suspect denied killing his own son, but police did not believe him and sent him to the provincial police for further questioning.
Major Bun Heang, a provincial penal police officer, said yesterday that during his interrogation Mr Choch admitted killing his son.
“He said that he was a sorcerer, who inherited the art from his father and grandfather,” he said. “He said he killed his son because he did not want the boy to inherit the art of sorcery from him and become discriminated against by villagers.”
Maj Heang said that Mr Choch is accused of premeditated murder and faces a life sentence if convicted.
He noted that the suspect is still being questioned and will be sent to the provincial court today.