Police Offer Cash Reward for Clues in Frenchwoman’s Murder

Still struggling for leads, police are offering cash to anyone who comes forward with information or evidence connected to the murder of a 25-year-old Frenchwoman in Kampot province last month.

Ophelie Begnis was staying at Les Manguiers guesthouse in Toek Chhou district and was last seen leaving the grounds on a bicycle on the afternoon of February 9. Her body was discovered the next day naked and washed up on a riverbank in Kampot City’s Andoung Khmer commune with wounds to her head and arms. The body was sent to Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital the following day.

Rin Phalla, a deputy judicial police chief for the province, said Wednesday that anyone coming forward with information or evidence would receive $2,500.

“Police will give $2,500 as a reward to someone who has found any evidence involved with the Frenchwoman’s murder,” he said, adding that no one had yet come forward.

He said the cash was being furnished by the Ministry of Interior, but a ministry spokesman could not be reached to confirm the reward.

Provincial police chief Thlang Phirin said that authorities began advertising the cash reward on Tuesday.

Deputy provincial police chief In Chiva said investigators have still made no headway in the case.

“We haven’t yet found any evidence or the place where the crime happened,” he said, adding that there were still no suspects in the case. When asked if police ruled out rape in the case, he hung up the phone.

According to the French Embassy, Ophelie Begnis’ family has lodged a complaint with authorities in France asking them to investigate her murder as well. The embassy declined to comment on the case on Wednesday but said it was not offering any cash rewards itself.

French media following the murder have described the victim as an artistic young woman with a loving family from the city of Lyon in eastern-central France.

Le Progres, a regional daily newspaper based in Lyon, said Ophelie Begnis had left France on January 3 with three friends, taking a break from the French winter and her work as an aspiring stage actress.

According to Ophelie Begnis’ family, the 25-year-old was passionate about theater, dance, and literature, which she held a master’s degree in, and had also studied drama.

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