Police said Thursday that a Russian man who is the sole suspect in the brutal murder of another Russian national in Sihanoukville on Saturday had fled to Phnom Penh.
Deputy Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Kol Phally said investigators identified the man—who he refused to name—shortly after Denis Goncharov, 28, was found dead in a canal in Sihanoukville on Sunday with 30 stab wounds in his back and his throat cut.
“We have had good results because we have identified the suspect and we are following him,” he said. “Based on our investigation, we believe the suspect has fled to Phnom Penh.”
Mr. Phally, who is leading the investigation, said provincial police chief Chuon Narin arrived in the capital Thursday to assist municipal police in arresting the Russian.
“We hope the case will be solved soon,” he said.
Major General Narin could not be reached Thursday.
Eng Sorphea, chief of the municipal police’s serious crimes bureau, said he had not been informed about the case.
“I have not received any information about that case yet, but if they ask us to help, we will help,” he said. “Maybe they asked district police to help them.”
According to police, Denis Goncharov’s Chinese wife, Yuan Cuixiang, 26, told police that the wanted man and her husband left their apartment together on Saturday night to go drinking.
Investigators believe Denis Goncharov had been driving a motorbike when the suspect, riding pillion, attacked him.
The Russian Embassy in Phnom Penh did not respond to requests for comment.
Denis Goncharov’s murder comes nearly four months after Maj. Gen. Narin took over as police chief in Preah Sihanouk province amid an upsurge in violent crime involving Russians and other Eastern Europeans.