Police in Kompong Speu province said Monday they had detained two men for questioning over the beheading of an accused sorcerer over the weekend, and found bloody T-shirts at the scene of the crime that may reveal the identities of two more attackers.
“This afternoon, we questioned two men at the provincial police headquarters who we suspect are involved with the case,” said Svay Yoeun, deputy chief of the provincial police’s central judicial bureau.
“We are just questioning them first, and if they were not involved, we will release them,” he said, declining to provide further details on the identities of the men or the police investigation.
The headless and battered body of folk healer Pak Sophea, 53, was found on a roadside in Thpong district on Saturday. Police said at the time they believed he was killed following accusations in his home village that he had spread death and disease through black magic.
Three bloody clubs were discovered near the body on Saturday, and another search by police Monday yielded two bloody T-shirts discarded about 30 meters from the roadside, according to district police chief Hun Sokhorn.
Mr. Sokhorn said police hoped the T-shirts would lead them to the killers.
“Those T-shirts belong to them, because local villagers recognized those T-shirts,” he said. “About one or two weeks ago, a witness saw two men wearing them during a drinking party in the village. Those people had an argument with the victim before.”
He declined to name the men suspected of having worn the bloody T-shirts, but said they were believed to have fled to Phnom Penh and that police were searching for them.
Both men in custody denied owning the T-shirts, but one claimed he recognized one shirt as belonging to one of the other men being sought, according to Chea Sun, a deputy district police chief.