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Woman held over friend’s gruesome murder after body parts found in river

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
sin sophal
Police detain the accused. Fresh News

Phnom Penh Military Police on Monday arrested a woman who allegedly killed a friend and chopped the body into pieces over a debt in Daun Penh district on June 3.

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Major Ly Savuth, a district military police officer, identified the suspect as Tim Sophal, 35, jobless and living in a rental house in the district’s Chey Chumneas commune.

He identified the victim as Kim Yaneang, 40, a widow and hairdresser living in Russey Keo district’s Tuol Sangke commune.

Maj Savuth noted that both women were close friends and Ms Sophal had borrowed about $6,000 from Ms Yaneang.

He said that on June 2 the victim visited the suspect to ask for her money and Ms Sophal told her that she did not have it.

Maj Savuth said that at about 9am the next day Ms Yaneang returned to the suspect’s house and asked for her money again.

He said Ms Sophal took a big stick and hit the victim on the neck before strangling her to death after she fell unconscious.

Maj Savuth noted that the suspect then chopped the body in smaller pieces, put them into garbage bags and later threw them into the river in front of the Royal Palace.

He noted that when her mother did not return home, Ms Yaneang’s daughter Pich Sievmey, 17, alerted the Daun Penh district military police that she had gone to visit the suspect and had disappeared.

Maj Savuth said that the at about 10 am on Sunday, a passerby saw a person’s leg and hand floating in the river and alerted police.

He said that police suspected that the parts may have been the victim’s and at about 8pm on Monday went to arrest Ms Sophal for questioning.

“After her arrest and during interrogation, the suspect admitted committing the crime,” Maj Savuth said. “She confessed that she killed the victim because she had owed her money for several months and could not repay her.”

“She confessed that at first she hit Ms Yaneang on the neck with a big stick before strangling her and chopping the body into pieces,” he added.

Maj Savuth noted that Ms Sophal kept the body parts in her house and went to throw the garbage bags in the river later that night.

He said the suspect has been accused of premeditated murder and faces life in prison if convicted.

Maj Savuth added that so far, police have only recovered a leg and hand and are searching the river for other body parts.

Lieutenant General Rath Sreang, municipal military police commander, yesterday confirmed that the suspect admitted committing the offence and is still being questioned at their headquarters.

“She has confessed to everything but we still have to interrogate her and conduct further investigations,” he said. “She will be sent to the municipal court after we have completed our investigations.”

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