The body of a 10-year-old girl believed to have been raped and murdered was found floating in the Tonle Sap lake in Pursat province on Tuesday, two days after she went missing from her home in Krakor district, police said Wednesday.
Seung Sopheak, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau, said the girl went missing at about 11 a.m. Sunday after she told her cousin to return home ahead of her from an outing they had taken together.
“The female victim went missing from her floating home on Sunday morning after the victim had gone with her 8-year-old female cousin in a rowboat to collect firewood in the village, but the 8-year-old came back home and did not see the 10-year-old come home,” he said.
After two days of searching, the body of the girl was found floating in the water on Tuesday morning by a group that included her parents, Mr. Sopheak said.
“We are still investigating this case. However, there have not been any suspects arrested yet,” he said.
To Taing Eng, chief of the provincial police’s technical and scientific bureau, said an examination of the body led him to conclude that the girl had been raped.
“[T]he neck of the victim had bruising that shows she was strangled after being raped,” he added.
Mr. Taing Eng said there was no possibility the girl drowned because she had no water in her lungs when she was found, and was known to be a good swimmer.
“We have concluded that the suspect submerged the body of the girl in the water to destroy the evidence,” he said.
Phuong Sothea, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said the case marked the first reported rape of a minor in Pursat this year.
“We appeal to all authorities to arrest the suspect immediately to punish them according to the law,” he said.
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