Police believe a six-year-old girl, whose naked body was found in bushes near her uncle’s house in Pursat province’s Phnom Kravanh district on Saturday, was raped and robbed before being murdered.
The girl, who went missing after playing with other children in a flooded field in Leach commune’s Bak Trakuon village on Friday afternoon, was found at about 4 pm on Saturday, said commune police chief Pork Vanna.
Mr Vanna said many villagers had tried to find the missing girl in the flooded field prior to her body’s being located in nearby bushes. He added that jewelry belonging to the girl–including a necklace and ring worth more than $100 combined–had been taken from the girl’s body.
Villagers from Leach commune, who declined to be identified out of fear for their safety, said yesterday they believed the girl had been strangled to death.
Deputy Phnom Kravanh district police chief So Sarhong said yesterday a police investigation had concluded the six-year-old was raped and murdered.
“Our conclusion was that [she] was raped and killed,” Mr Sarhong said, before declining to provide details about the evidence collected by police. He added that police were continuing to investigate the case, with the hope of identifying a suspect.
Nget Theavy, provincial coordinator for the human rights group Adhoc, said yesterday that the rape-murder was the first of its kind in Pursat this month. She added that the judicial system needed to punish rapists harshly to deter others from considering such actions.
“In doing so, people must be afraid of committing [rapes] wrongfully,” she said.
So far this year, Adhoc has tallied 27 rape-murder cases nationwide, but in a report released last month, the Interior Ministry claimed only three such cases had been recorded in the first six months of this year. The Cambodia Daily has reported 16 rape-murder cases and seven arrests in 2010.
The latest incident in Pursat comes just days after an 11-year-old girl was raped and killed in Siem Reap City.