Ratanakkiri Teen-Ager Charged With Murder

Official Says Suspect Killed Brother, Sister

Authorities have charged a Rata­nakkiri province teen-ager with murder in the shooting deaths of his two youngest siblings, whom he allegedly killed because he could not afford to feed them.

Police arrested Romam Twin, 18, of Des village in O’ya-daw district, Thursday as he wept and held the bodies of his brother, Romam Hlin, 9, and sister, Rom­am Phlin, 7, Ratanakkiri prov­incial Chief of Penal Police Chea Bunthoeun said.

In his confession, Romam Twin told police he killed the children because he could not stand to see them starve, Chea Bunthoeun said.

Romam Twin, a farmer and an ethnic Jarai hill tribe member in the remote prov­ince, had begged his relatives and friends for money to help feed his wife and two siblings, Chea Bunthoeun said.

Romam Twin’s parents died of disease last year, leaving him, as the oldest, to care for the family. Having failed to get any aid, the teen decided to kill the children, Chea Bunthoeun said.

Throughout the day Romam Twin told his brother and sister to go to their parents’ graves, Chea Bunthoeun said.

The teen-ager grabbed an assault rifle his parents left him and met them.

He told the children to get down on their knees and pray.

When they did, Romam Twin stepped back and opened fire, Chea Buntheoun said, shooting each child once in the upper back. They collapsed and died, the police chief said.

Having killed the children, Romam Twin fell to his knees, weeping, and scooped up each child into his arms, Chea Bun­thoeun said.

Neighbors investigated and saw Romam Twin holding the two dead children, Chea Bun­theoun said.

They called police, who recovered the rifle next to Rom­am Twin, the police chief said.

Authorities continue to hold Romam Twin in Ratanakkiri pro­vincial prison, Chea Bun­theoun said. Under the law, they have six months to complete their investigation and bring the teen-ager to trial.


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