Sihanoukville police are on the hunt to arrest a killer suspected of raping and murdering two children in Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune on Wednesday.
Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Major General Chuon Narin yesterday identified the suspect as 30-year-old Chhim Vichet.
He noted that his officers are cooperating with National Police officers and Child Protection Unit experts to find the suspect who raped and killed the two victims.
“Police and a group of experts are currently working to find a suspect who murdered the two children,” Maj Gen Narin said.
He added that police also provided money to the victims’ family for a funeral.
The victims were identified as 10-year-old Pha Srey Leak and her two-year-old brother Pha Sok Ly.
The Child Protection Unit in a statement on Facebook yesterday announced that it was working with Sihanoukville police and the Ministry of Interior to investigate the double homicide.
“One of the most brutal homicides we have had to investigate,” CPU said in the statement.
The CPU added that investigators, crime scene examiners and the CPU forensic pathologist remain at the scene in Bit Traing commune.
The bloodied bodies of both victims were discovered inside their home at about 3.15 pm on Wednesday after their father had left them only a short time prior, CPU said.
It added that the 10 year-old-female victim was in critical condition and rushed to Sihanoukville hospital, where the CPU arranged a medical evacuation shortly after. CPU noted that she died of her injuries a few hours later.
“The brutality of this furious attack is beyond words and has shocked some of the most seasoned homicide investigators,” CPU said.
It added that every possible resource is being used to identify the individual responsible for the crime.
“It is incomprehensible the level of violence used on these two innocent children. May you both rest in peace; we promise task force members will not rest until we have made an arrest and prosecuted the individual responsible for this horrific crime,” it said.
Oun Pha, the father of the victims, said that he works in construction and that his family is poor. They had come from their hometown in Tboung Khmum province and planned to stay in Prey Nop district for about a week.
Mr Pha said that on the day of the incident, he and his wife were not home.
“I left for work at a construction site and my wife left for work as a waitress at a restaurant,” Mr Pha said. “We told them to stay home. When I came back from work, I saw them laying down with so much blood.”
“I panicked when I saw them,” he added. “I appeal to the police and authorities to find justice for my daughter and my son by finding the suspect.”
In March, Prime Minister Hun Sen considered capital punishment for those found guilty of sexual violence against children. However, a day later, Mr Hun Sen shifted his stance on the issue after receiving legal advice.
He noted that capital punishment was abolished in 1989 and said there was no need to amend the constitution. Instead, Mr Hun Sen called for strengthened education and morality training.