16-year-old Raped, Killed in Takeo, Police Say No Suspects Yet

A 16-year-old was raped and then drowned in Takeo province’s Traing district this week, police said, though so far they have not identified any suspects.

Smorng commune police on Monday evening found the body of Chhorm Sophany 700 meters from a canal bank where she was collecting snails to sell, said Heng Hort, commune police chief.

The perpetrator had attacked the girl, raped and beat her near the canal, dragged her to a field and drowned her there in standing water, he said.

“The victim was attacked on the canal bank, then she was dragged through the field and thrown deep into a remote field,” he said. The tall grass in the field obscured the body, and has complicated the search for clues, he said.

“The body was found naked, her face was bruised,” he said, adding that she had multiple injuries from the rape and beating as well as the struggle with her attacker.

The mother of the girl had reported her missing in early afternoon, and it took more than five hours to find the body. Jewelry was missing from girl’s body, apparently stolen by the assailant, Mr Hort said.

“Now police are burning hands and legs to hunt the suspects,” he said.

Un Khna, deputy provincial police chief of the serious crimes bureau, said police have identified no suspects in the case over the last several days.

“We are still investigating the case,” he said, adding that some clues had been left behind, but he could not discuss them.

Nor Head, the provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said the brutality of the crime was shocking. “It was a brutal rape and murder that occurred in this province,” he said.

Adhoc had recorded 28 rape-murder cases in the first eight months of this year. In a report last month, the Interior Ministry claimed to have recorded only 3 cases between January and June. The Cambodia Daily has reported 17 rape-murder cases and 9 arrests in 2010.

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