Cousins Found Strangled in Abandoned Lot

The bodies of two young women who went missing on Monday morning were found tied together and dumped in an abandoned lot in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district Wednesday morning in what police believe was double-murder robbery.

Passersby made the gruesome discovery at 7:45 a.m. about 1.5 km from the Kraing Thnong commune police station and then led police to the bound and beaten bodies of 21-year-old Vorn Leakna and her 19-year-old cous­in, Chorp Sreyleak.

“Both bodies were tied together and covered by bits of trees and leaves and showed signs of strangulation. We believe they were dumped there after being murdered elsewhere,” said commune police chief Mak My, adding that the bodies were swollen and pungent indicating they had been dead for several days.

“We believe it is a robbery case because they had their motorbike stolen and we understand that one of the victims was carrying $1,300 to pay for school fees,” said commune chief Srey Ros, who added that the victims were students at a private school in Pur Senchey district.

Keo Santhout, police chief of Phnom Penh Thmei commune, where the women lived, said authorities suspect the victims may have known their killer or killers, and that they may have arranged to meet the women because they knew that Chorp Sreyleak was carrying a large sum of money.

Chorp Sreyleak’s 41-year-old mother said that her daughter had been staying with her cousin for the past month and confirmed that the two had set off together on her motorbike carrying cash to pay for school courses and examination fees.

The families of the victims, both from Phnom Penh Thmei commune, told police that the girls had been missing since leaving the family home on Monday, but neither family filed a complaint with the authorities.

“Police did not receive complaints to inform us that the girls were missing,” Mr. Santhout said.

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