Police investigating the near-decapitation of a man in Kompong Chhnang province on Saturday night said on Monday that blood found on the trousers of their initial suspect belonged to an animal, not a human, and that questioning of potential witnesses had turned up no clues.
Phann Vannak, 22, was sitting on the back of a friend’s motorbike when he was slashed across the neck from behind with a machete.
He died instantly just meters from his home, and police initially said they suspected a neighbor with whom he had a history of disputes.
Blood found on the trousers of the neighbor, Buth Borey, 25, and on a boat moored in a canal directly behind his home were the only clues.
However, “it was the blood of an animal,” said deputy Cholkiri district police chief Nem Set.
“People in this area tend to hunt rats, and it may be that someone took the rats’ skins in the boat,” he said.
The police chief said that six or seven more people had been questioned over the attack, but that there were still no solid leads and no witnesses had come forward.