The Mondolkiri Provincial Court on Sunday charged a man with murder for allegedly hacking his 2-year-old daughter to death with a machete while under the influence of drugs on Friday, police said.
Deputy provincial police chief So Sovan said that methamphetamine use drove the man, Min Mathly, 28, who had a history of domestic violence, to attack his family in a drug-fueled rage at their home in O’Reang district’s Dak Dam commune.
“He confessed that he used methamphetamines the day before he hacked the children,” he said. “He has been charged by the court with intentional murder and has been sent to the provincial prison for pretrial detention.”
Provincial police chief Nhem Vanny said Mr. Mathly attacked his sleeping family at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.
As his wife slept in a bed with their two daughters, aged 2 and 4, Mr. Mathly grabbed a machete and attempted to attack his wife, Brigadier General Vanny said. But she awoke and dodged his strike.
“He [then] tried to hack the 4-year-old, but the wife pulled her away and his knife cut the 4-year-old’s ear,” he said. “She grabbed the 4-year-old and ran out of her house, but left her 2-year-old daughter sleeping.”
Brig. Gen. Vanny said the wife returned with neighbors to confront Mr. Mathly, only to find the butchered body of her 2-year-old.
“He almost cut her head off—she died immediately,” he said.
Mr. Sovan said Mr. Mathly then ran around the village attempting to attack other villagers until some 10 police officers apprehended him at about 1 a.m.
One police officer suffered a minor injury from Mr. Mathly’s machete during the arrest, Mr. Sovan said, adding that his wife took his surviving daughter to Vietnam for medical treatment.
Mr. Mathly was charged with intentional murder by the provincial court Sunday, he said.
Friday’s attack was the latest in what has been a spate of serious violence against children. The dead body of an 11-year-old boy was discovered bound and face down in his home in Ratanakkiri province last week. Police still have no leads in the case, provincial police chief Nguon Koeun said Sunday.
Also in Ratanakkiri, a mother killed her toddler son and infant daughter last month before committing suicide, while in Kompong Cham province, a 33-year-old man is facing premeditated murder charges for killing a 7-year-old boy last month after the boy kicked his nephew.