Man, 23, Confesses to Murder, Attempted Rape in Battambang

The body of a woman who went missing in Battambang province on Tuesday night was discovered floating in a river Thursday, while a man whose belongings were found at the place where she disappeared from has confessed to attacking her with the intention of rape, police said.

Chann Serey Roth, 18, was cleaning bean sprouts in the river behind her family’s house in Sangke district when her mother heard screams for help and came running, according to police.

But when she arrived, her daughter had vanished, and police and locals spent the night and next day looking for her and her attacker, Chan Kosal, who was identified based on flip-flops and pink shorts found at the scene.

At 6:30 Thursday morning, Mr. Kosal, 23, was arrested when he returned to his home to sleep after spending more than 24 hours in hiding, police said, while Chann Serey Roth’s body was found at about 10 a.m. about 1 km from her home.

“[Mr. Kosal] told police that he was fishing along the river and saw the victim cleaning bean sprouts and thought it was a good chance to rape her,” said district police chief Sun Sovan.

When Mr. Kosal attacked Chann Serey Roth, she stabbed him in the stomach with a pair of scissors and a struggle ensued, Mr. Sovan said.

“The suspect told police the victim may have died in the river because she was beaten unconscious and he then took her to the middle of the river. He confessed that he elbowed her in the face and slapped the back of her neck,” he added.

“We found the body in the river in front of Sangke pagoda about 1 km from the victim’s house,” he said, adding that Mr. Kosal would be sent to the Battambang Provincial Court today.

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