Naked Body Found in Forest in Suspected Rape, Murder Case

The dead body of a woman was found naked on Monday in a forest in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nop district, in a likely case of rape and murder, police said Tuesday.

Sam Sokha, Prey Nop commune police chief, said a man searching for wild honey stumbled upon the corpse in a forest just outside Bat Semean village.

“In the morning a man came to find honey and smelled a bad smell,” he said. “The man found the body of an unknown woman and reported it to the local police.”

Mr. Sokha said the woman had no clothes on, except for her socks, and was covered with branches broken off a nearby tree.

“Someone cut the branches to cover the body,” said Mr. Sokha, adding that the woman may have been murdered 20 to 30 days ago. “We still did not identify the victim because the body was swollen and putrid.”

Mr. Sokha said police believe the woman was raped because she had no clothes on and that she was attacked and murdered because her right hand was broken, along with some of her teeth.

Srath Vichea, technical and scientific bureau chief for the provincial police who led the examination of the body, agreed that the woman was most likely raped and murdered.

“We have examined the body already,” he said. “The suspect or suspects raped and murdered her somewhere else and afterward brought her body [to the forest] because we saw the tracks on the ground.”

Mr. Vichea said provincial police on Tuesday began looking into a missing person report in Prey Nop district, and another from Kampot province, to see if the victim matched either report.

“We are still contacting the families about this case,” he said, adding that the woman’s body was buried on Monday at a Prey Nop pagoda.

Deputy provincial police chief Kol Phally said no suspects have been identified yet.

“Our investigation is progressing on that case,” he said. “We did not get any evidence yet.”

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