The badly burned and hacked body of a pregnant woman was found in a remote area of Kirirom National Park in Kompong Speu province on Saturday, local police officials said.
The woman, whom authorities have not yet been able to identify because of the state of the body, was discovered at 5:35 p.m. after a Forestry Administration official patrolling the area noticed a “horrible” smell and followed it to the body. The woman had suffered multiple ax blows to the head and neck, and was burned across her entire body and face.
Kompong Speu provincial police chief Sam Sak said police believed the victim was in her early twenties, and was between five and seven months pregnant. Due to the level of decomposition of her body, he estimated that she had been dead for close to a week.
“We could tell the suspect killed the pregnant victim by ax, because we found an ax near the victim’s body,” Mr. Sak said, adding that the woman had been struck four times in the head and seven times in the neck.
Mr. Sak said that police believed the crime was premeditated and was not motivated by robbery, because the victim was still wearing a pair of gold earrings and a gold bracelet when she was found.
He said he suspected the woman had been killed by a man she was involved in a relationship with, but that police were still investigating.
Ros Sarin, police chief of Chambak commune in Phnom Sruoch district, where the body was found, also said the murder appeared to have been committed by someone the victim knew.
“If they did not know each other, they might not go to a quiet place in the forest,” he said.