Police Identify Suspect in Rape, Assault Case

Police have identified a suspect in the sexual assault and stabbing death of a Battambang province woman attacked as her children slept downstairs, officials said Sunday.

The man police are looking for was a friend of Vorn Voeun’s family and may even have gone to her funeral Sunday, Battambang Deputy Police Chief Chea Thol said.

Vorn Voeun’s 14-year-old son found his mother’s body in the family’s Battambang town home Saturday morning, Chea Thol said. She had been raped, beaten with a stick, and stabbed in the throat with a pair of scissors.

Vorn Voeun, 37, was the wife of World Vision official Vorn Sam El, who had been in Phnom Penh all last week for an organizational conference.

Police believe Vorn Voeun‘s attacker hid in the house all day Friday. Sometime after midnight, the attacker crept through the house, up the stairs and into Vorn Voeun’s bedroom, Chea Thol said.

Authorities believe the attacker woke Vorn Voeun up and tried to have sex with her, Chea Thol said. When she refused, the attacker forced himself on her. When the woman continued to struggle, the attacker hit her on the chin with a square-shaped club. He then took a pair of scissors and plunged them into her neck and killed her, Chea Thol said.

Later that morning, Vorn Voeun’s three children were getting ready for school, but needed money, Chea Thol said. Her 14-year-old son called for her, but she did not respond. When the boy went upstairs to investigate, he found his mother’s body.

Although there were no eyewitnesses, police have focused their investigation on one man, in his late 30s, whom Chea Thol re­fused to identify. The deputy police chief refused to say why police  suspected the man.


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