Arrest Led Police to Body of Missing Woman

Fighting back tears, relatives and friends bid 25-year-old Uy Sansothida goodbye during a cremation ceremony at Wat Lanka in Phnom Penh on Thursday, as police painted a gruesome picture of the woman’s last moments before she was strangled to death in December. 

“My daughter was very kind and always helped poor people,” the victim’s father, Uy Sann, told mourners. “She died because of her kindness.”

At about 8 am on Dec 19, Uy Sansothida drove a woman, Yim Chandalin, 25, to a home in Phnom Penh where the woman’s boyfriend, Pho Vanny, 20, lived.

The three were discussing the possibility of giving Yim Chan­da­lin a job at Uy San­so­thi­da’s hair styl­ing shop near Phsar Thmei, said Prampi Makara district Po­lice Chief Yim Symany on Thurs­day.

When Pho Vanny’s younger brother, Pho Vannak, 18, arrived at the house, all three allegedly proceeded to strangle Uy San­so­thi­da to death, Yim Symany said.

The three then tied Uy San­so­thi­da’s body into a ball and put it into a piece of luggage which was then placed in a hole that had been dug in front of a ground floor bathroom at the house in Prampi Makara district, he said.

Towels were placed around the body to stifle the smell of decomposition, and tiles were then placed over the hole to disguise the burial site.

The three then took Uy San­so­thi­da’s jewelry, cash, changed the license plates of her car and drove to Kampot province. When they returned to Phnom Penh, Pho Van­nak left and the couple traveled to Siem Reap and then Ban­teay Meanchey province, Yim Sy­ma­ny said.

Banteay Meanchey provincial police Chief Sok Sareth said Yim Chan­dalin tried to use Uy San­so­thida’s name to sell the car for $5,000 and had also registered un­der the dead woman’s name at a Sisophon guest house, saying the couple was to get married.

During that time, Uy San­so­thi­da’s family traveled the country passing out leaflets asking for in­for­mation about their missing daughter. Residents in Sisophon called police after noticing that the woman trying to sell the car had the same name as the missing woman but looked different.

Pho Vanny and Yim Chandalin were arrested on Tuesday in Ban­teay Meanchey, and police are searching for Pho Vannak, Yim Symany said.

Uy Sansothida’s body was ex­humed from the house on Wednesday.

“They were a rich family but after their parents died [in 2001], all the children are unemployed,” Yim Symany said of the Pho bro­thers. “They did not go to school, and they were playboys.”

At the cremation ceremony, Uy Sann denied that his daughter was friends with her alleged killers, one of which was an infrequent client at her hairstyling shop.

“They are not friends of my daughter,” he said.



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