A 30-year-old man was arrested in Prey Veng province on Tuesday for raping and murdering his 10-year-old neighbor after convincing her to help him search for honeycomb in the forest, police said on Wednesday.
The suspect, Try Kimcheang, lived near the victim in Svay Antor district’s Popeus commune, according to provincial police chief Sreng Chea, and intercepted the young girl while she was riding a bicycle with her 4-year-old sister on Tuesday afternoon, on their way to deliver coffee to their father in a rice field.
“After she finished making coffee to bring to her father, she ran into the suspect and the suspect called her to look for bees. So she went with him,” Mr. Chea said.
When the 4-year-old agreed to take the coffee to her father alone, Mr. Kimcheang led the older girl into a nearby wood and raped her, he said, adding that the man flew into a rage when the victim began screaming and would not stop.
“The victim cried and cursed, and the suspect could not stand it,” he said. “So he strangled her.”
When the girl’s father noticed that his daughter was missing, he questioned the 4-year-old, who recounted her sister’s conversation with Mr. Kimcheang about collecting honeycomb and directed her father and a group of villagers into the forest, where the body was found, Mr. Chea said.
The father informed local police, who arrested Mr. Kimcheang in the forest at about 5 p.m., he said.
Despite the visible scratches on his neck, the suspect initially denied that he had raped and murdered the girl, but finally confessed, the police chief added.
James McCabe, director of operations for the Child Protection Unit, a policing arm of the Cambodian Children’s Fund, said the rape occurred near the spot where the victim parted ways with her younger sister.
“The body of the little girl was found partially naked among some bushes approximately 200 meters from where she had last been seen,” he said.