Man Arrested for Raping, Killing 77-Year-Old Nun in Pagoda

A 22-year-old man was arrested Tuesday morning for the rape and murder of an elderly nun at a pagoda in Battambang province’s Phnom Proek district, police said Tuesday.

Provincial serious crimes police chief Seng Luch said the suspect, Sareth Kimhak, lived at the pagoda and raped and murdered 77-year-old Veth Vy on Monday night in a room inside the chief monk’s house near Wat Samdech Preah Voanaram pagoda in Bour commune.

“The incident happened at 9:30 p.m. on Monday night as the nun was preparing to go to sleep, when the suspect, who was a pagoda boy, walked into her room and raped the nun while no one else was around,” he said.

Afraid that someone would find out about what he had done, the suspect covered the woman’s mouth then strangled her until she was dead before running away from the scene in a panic without his clothes, he said, adding that his clothes were found at the scene of the crime.

District police chief Song Sopheak said that the suspect was arrested at 3 a.m. Tuesday morning by a team of police who were out looking for him and found him wandering around, drunk.

“He was caught because he was not sure of the village’s geography because he had just moved into the area and was drunk. Six police officers found him in the same commune, surrounded him and arrested him at 3 a.m.,” he said.

According to villagers, the suspect had been living at the pagoda for about six weeks after moving from Thma Koul district because he knew the chief monk, Mr. Sopheak said. The nun had also moved from Thma Koul district but had been living in the pagoda for many years, he added.

The suspect admitted to raping and murdering the elderly nun after becoming drunk at a small shop outside of the pagoda, Mr. Sopheak said.

“He said he raped her because he could not stop himself and became so afraid of the nun telling someone, or that someone would find out what he had done, that he covered her mouth and choked her to death,” he added.

Police carried out an examination of the body that showed the nun had been raped and determined that she had been choked due to the bruises around her neck and blood coming out her mouth.

“This is a rape and murder case. We have plenty of proof for this crime,” Mr. Sopheak said, adding that the suspect will be brought to the provincial police office for more questioning Wednesday.

[email protected]

Related Stories

Latest News