The battered and strangled bodies of a local government official, his wife, and their 6-month-old daughter were found on Friday inside their home in Pailin province, which had been set on fire and burned to the ground in the early hours of the morning, police said.
The victims, Sala Krao commune clerk Heng Ravy, 29, his wife, Thy Phallay, 25, and their baby daughter, Heng Muychuo, are believed to have been killed at about 12:40 a.m. early Friday morning, according to local police.
The couple’s necks were found tied with electrical wire. They both had multiple broken teeth and had been blinded before they died, according to Sala Krao district penal police chief Leav Hong.
“Now we are investigating, but initially, our technical police examined the corpses and concluded that this is a murder case,” he said. “They killed them first and then they burned their house down. The couple’s heads were injured and their teeth were broken, their eyes were blinded and their necks were tied with electrical wires.”
It was unclear whether the baby had also been killed before the fire was started, he said.
Toem Tola, police chief of O’Andoung commune, where the murders took place, said police believe that more than one person was involved in the killings.
“We have concluded that there may be two or more perpetrators, because only one perpetrator could not do this,” he said.
Heng Ravy and Thy Phallay ran a small grocery shop out of their house and were also trying to start a small business buying, drying and selling cassava.
Thy Phallay’s father, Chek Thy, who also lived very close to the young family, said he was out of town on the night of the murder, having gone to recruit workers for the new cassava-drying business.
“Both of my children are good people and never had disputes with other people,” he said. “I am extremely sad about this case, and I appeal to the police to find and arrest the suspects.”