Police in Phnom Penh said yesterday that due to lack of evidence they had released nine suspects of Friday who were arrested last week in the triple murder of a 17-year-old girl and her parents in Chamkar Mon district.
“We released them all because they were not involved with the triple murder,” said Men Hengtith, deputy chief of police in Meanchey district, where the suspects were arrested on Wednesday.
A tenth suspect arrested in connection with the murders has also been cleared of the crime but he was subsequently charged with theft by Phnom Penh Municipal Court for allegedly stealing two cans of paint. Sok Lin, a 35-year-old motorcycle driver, was charged on Friday and is now in detention at Prey Sar prison, according to Mr Hengtith.
Ry Sarun, 52, Ne Sovannary, 48, and their daughter, Ry Nalin, were all stabbed repeatedly and their apartment was ransacked on Tuesday. The mother and daughter also had their throats slashed.
Pol Davy, municipal military police chief, said that despite the releases, police were still hot on the trail of the real culprits thanks to new forensic evidence discovered during autopsies of the victims.
“Policemen have found some light on the suspects by their autopsy of the dead bodies but they have not revealed it to the public yet,” he said.
“Now our municipal police have found thumbprints of the suspects and all those men arrested on [Oct] 20 were released after they weren’t involved,” he added.
Mr Davy said the triple-murder investigation was a top priority for municipal police and military police but that they were also focusing on the Oct 15 murder of a businessman who was shot and pushed out of his moving Land Cruiser.
An arrest was made in the case on Friday in Kampot province but police say multiple gunmen were involved and do not believe they have yet caught the ringleader, according to deputy municipal military police chief Pong Savrith.