A share-taxi driver was found apparently bludgeoned to death in Kompong Thom province on Sunday about 80 km away from where his car had hours earlier been involved in a serious accident that left a passenger unconscious, police said on Monday.
Noun Komnith, deputy judicial police chief in Sandan district, said the body of Sok Sorpheakdey, 37, was found floating in a culvert under a road in the district’s Chhoeuteal commune at about 11:30 a.m. by villagers, who contacted local police.
“The body had cuts to the face and the back of the head,” Mr. Komnith said, explaining that the man had large cuts to the back of his head and his chin. “The victim may have been hit by a stick, as there was a stick with blood stains found nearby.”
Mr. Komnith said Sok Sorpheakdey’s body was found with a diamond ring still on his finger and his car keys attached to his pants, but without his wallet and telephone.
Later in the day, provincial police received reports from local police that the man’s car had been involved in an accident in Stung Sen City—the provincial capital, about 80 km southwest—earlier that morning, said deputy provincial judicial police chief Khan Nara.
At about 4 a.m., he said, the city’s traffic police received a call from a man who said he had woken up unconscious in Sok Sorpheakdey’s car after the accident.
“He told police he hired the car and the driver had fled the scene after the accident,” Mr. Nara said, adding that he did not know the man’s name. Local traffic police could not be reached.
Mr. Nara said that police—unaware of Sok Sorpheakdey’s death—told the man to seek treatment in the provincial hospital for his injuries but relented after he insisted on going to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh.
He would not say whether the police had sought out the man after the discovery of the driver’s body.
“At present we have not made any assumptions and we are still investigating the case,” he said.