21-year-old Student Raped and Murdered in Kompong Cham

A 21-year-old woman was raped and murdered in Kompong Cham province’s Tbong Khmum district on Monday, police and a commune official said yesterday.

The killing marks the 14th rape and murder of a woman or child reported by The Cambodia Daily so far this year.

Chup commune police chief Set Chan Tha said yesterday that high school student Chan Kong Kea was raped and killed in a field while collecting vegetables.

“It was a brutal killing…the most brutal I have ever seen,” he said. “Her father lost [track of] her for about half an hour, and when he went out looking for her, he found her strangled with her pants hanging from her neck.”

Mr Chan Tha said police had not yet identified a suspect.

“Her ring is still on her finger, so it was not a robbery,” he said, adding that he had warned commune villagers to be aware of their children’s whereabouts at all times.

“I have told the villagers to quickly find their children if they disappear,” he said.

Commune chief Lach Veng said he believed Chan Kong Kea had fought against her attacker.

“I believe she was trying to resist while it was happening to her because one of her left fingers was broken,” Mr Veng said, adding that he suspected that the attack had been carried out by someone who lived in Chup commune.

“It must be a person from Chup…who else could have done it?” he said. “This is the first time that a case like this has taken place in my commune.”

Chan Soveth, senior investigator for local rights group Adhoc, said authorities need to take action on the high number of rapes and murders that occur in Cambodia.

“The authorities should be preventing this from happening,” he said. “More education concerning morality should be disseminated to villagers around Cambodia.”

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