Police in Kampot province arrested a 25-year-old man Sunday for robbing, raping and brutally killing a 9-year-old girl on Saturday night.
The perpetrator, Oeu Vann, was arrested at 9 a.m. and after a few hours of questioning confessed to the crime of murder but not to the rape, said Nob Chan Pheap, deputy district police chief.
“He admitted he killed the girl because he had been out at karaoke and was drunk,” Mr. Chan Pheap said. “He denied raping her, but an examination showed she had been raped.”
The child’s body was discovered dumped on the balcony of a stilted house in Toek Chhou district’s Boeng Touk commune, a few hundred meters away from her home, naked and with bad bruising to her face and a bloody nose. Bruises on her neck showed she had been strangled, according to commune police chief Pong Kan.
“Her clothing had been ripped off and the body had been covered with an old rag,” Mr. Kan said. “Blood had been trickling from her nose. She was badly beaten and strangled.”
Mr. Kan said the girl’s mother told police her daughter had got up in the middle of the night to go outside to urinate, but when she did not return, the family became worried and searched for her.
The perpetrator was a local who knew the family, and said he had killed the girl in case she told her parents. Police discovered the girls’ small gold earrings—worth a mere 0.02 damlung of gold or $32—in Oeu Vann’s house.
Villagers in the Cham Muslim community expressed shock Sunday that this kind of violence could occur in their village, but the incident is one of a number of rape-murders and child-rapes this year.
There were 75 child rapes in the first six months of this year, according to rights group Adhoc. Last year, there were at least 10 child rape-murders and nearly 70 percent of all reported rape cases were against underage victims.