A man was arrested on Saturday at his home in Siem Reap City, where police discovered the burned head of a woman he had allegedly killed and decapitated the previous evening at a guesthouse in the city, authorities said on Sunday.
Chan Chhaya, 40, was arrested at 5:30 p.m. in Toek Vil commune, hours after police were informed that the headless body of a woman identified as Len Seila, 23, had been found at the Moon Rise Guesthouse in Svay Dangkum commune, said Nuon Sakchamroeunrith, a deputy city police chief.
“I decided to detain him. Then we saw the fire pit and I was suspicious, so I checked it and found the head of the victim,” he said, adding that police also found a bag in the suspect’s house that they believe was used to transport the head from the guesthouse where the victim was killed.
Duong Sokha, provincial penal police chief, said officials were able to locate Mr. Chhaya, who worked as a Thai-language tour guide in the Angkor Archaeological Park, based on information provided by the victim’s mother.
“It may be the result of a love triangle because the suspect already had a wife and children, and the mother of the victim knew about this and asked them to stop the relationship because another man who worked with her also loved her,” he said.
Len Seila had attempted to heed her mother’s advice, Mr. Sokha said.
However, on Friday, a jealous Mr. Chhaya convinced the victim to meet him at 6 p.m. before he left for a trip to Phnom Penh, said Mr. Sakchamroeunrith.
“He used a krama to choke the victim to death then he cut off her head” with a knife, he said, adding that Mr. Chhaya then moved the body from room 209 to room 301 before checking out in the evening and taking the head with him.
Neb Sith, a driver for a Chinese construction company, checked into room 301 at about 10:30 p.m. and unknowingly slept on the bed under which Len Seila’s decapitated body had been placed, according to the deputy police chief. A cleaner at the guesthouse discovered the body the following morning and police were notified at 9 a.m., leading military police to arrest Mr. Sith, he said.
Under questioning at the city police station, Mr. Chhaya admitted to killing Len Seila and said he had removed her head with the intention of taking it to a pagoda, Mr. Sakchamroeunrith said.
Samrith Sokhun, a deputy prosecutor at the provincial court, said Mr. Chhaya and Mr. Sith had both been sent to the provincial court on Sunday but had yet to be charged