Police in Phnom Penh say they have ruled out robbery as a motive in the fatal, streetside stabbing of a Defense Ministry official in broad daylight on Tuesday, but have yet to identify the murderer, who fled the scene on a motorbike.
Ly Davy, 36, a major in the ministry’s military service department, was walking alone near the Depot Market in Tuol Kok district at about 9:45 a.m. when a man wearing a motorbike helmet stabbed her repeatedly in the chest, according to witnesses and police. Witnesses pelted the assailant with charcoal and helmets, but he drove off on a Honda Click.
Tey Visal, deputy chief of the municipal police’s serious crimes bureau, said on Wednesday that the killer was still at large, but added that officers had ruled out at least one motive.
“This case is not robbery because the victim was walking and killed by the suspect, but the suspect did not take anything,” he said.
Mr. Visal declined to comment further and referred additional questions to his boss, serious crimes bureau chief Eng Sorphea. Both he and Hun Sothy, the district police chief, declined to say anything at all, except that they still had no leads.
“We are investigating very actively, and I have not eaten lunch yet even though we have not found any clues,” Mr. Sorphea said at about 5 p.m.
Cheam Sitha, the police chief of Phsar Depot I commune, where the murder occurred, said authorities visited Ly Davy’s house on Wednesday.
“I just know from my colleagues that police went to the victim’s house two times today, once in the morning and once in the afternoon,” he said. “I don’t know anything more than this.”
He said the body, which was taken to Toek Thla pagoda on Tuesday, would be cremated today.
National military police spokesman Eng Hy said the case demanded the utmost secrecy.
“Regarding the investigation, even if we find something, but we aren’t finished, we can’t say what it is,” he said.