A young man is at large after he hacked a 56-year-old woman to death with an ax and seriously injured her 21-year-old daughter in Tbong Khmum province on Monday during an argument that erupted when the man’s cow ate the older woman’s sugarcane, police said Tuesday.
The argument broke out Monday evening in Ponhea Krek district’s Daun Tei commune after the cow, owned by Tak Set, 23, wandered onto the property of Bun Mun and ate some of her sugarcane crop, according to commune police chief Tou Vandy.
During the argument, Mr. Set ducked into his house to grab an ax, then emerged and attacked Bun Mun with it, Mr. Vandy said.
“The suspect chased the victim and hacked her on the back of the head two times and she fell face down and died at the scene,” he said. “She cried for help, but nobody dared help her because the suspect was still holding the ax in his hand.”
Mr. Vandy said Mr. Set then turned on Bun Mun’s daughter, Bun Mom, striking her head, back and torso with the weapon. He said Ms. Mom remains in critical condition at the provincial hospital.
Commune chief Hin Seam said Ms. Mom, who was holding her 1-year-old son when Mr. Set attacked, fell unconscious and dropped the baby.
Mr. Set then picked up the infant and threw him to the ground again, injuring him slightly, before kicking Bun Mun’s dead body three times and fleeing, Mr. Seam said.
“I pity the victim because she was poor and innocent but she was killed cruelly,” he said, adding that he suspects Mr. Set was on drugs at the time of the attack.
District police chief Orm Monyvann said police were searching for the suspect. “I have never seen anything like this, and I was even involved in the war,” he said.