Kampot provincial police on Saturday arrested a fourth suspect in last week’s rape-murder of a 14-year-old girl in Chhuk district, saying they were confident that he was the sole perpetrator.
The girl’s body was found by her parents on Wednesday, and while police initially arrested a 17-year-old and two others in relation to the crime, they released the trio after building a case against a local farmer, according to provincial police chief Mao Chanmathurith.
“We arrested him yesterday at about 11 a.m. at his house after many days of investigation,” said Mr. Chanmathurith, naming the farmer as Sat Nou, 24, who lived less than 40 meters from the victim’s house in Lboeuk commune.
“Even though he denies the claim, we had enough evidence.”
Mr. Chanmathurith laid out the evidence against Mr. Nou, which he said was damning enough to allow the other three suspects to walk free last week.
“First, we did an examination on his fingernails and we found the victim’s blood under it,” he said. “Second, we found the bloodied trousers of the suspect at his house, and a witness said that they saw the suspect wearing those pants before the murder happened.
“Third, the witness reported that the suspect had an argument with him because the victim had accused him of being a ‘bad faced man who no one would ever dare to love,’ making the suspect angry with her.”
“Fourth, we found the bloodied stick the suspect used to kill the victim at the scene was part of his wood fence,” he said.
Mr. Chanmathurith explained Mr. Nou snapped off the wooden pole from his fence to make it into the weapon that was left behind at the scene of the murder, and that the piece fit easily back into the fence.
Kong Sokhan, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau, said that police believed Mr. Nou acted alone, and would recommended charges of premeditated murder and rape with aggravating circumstances.