Two weeks after a young woman went on the run after dousing her boyfriend with acid in Phnom Penh, police said Monday that they had narrowed down their search for the suspect to three locations across the country.
Chin Likim, 21, poured acid over the head and neck of Leng Socheata, also 21, as they rode on a motorbike together in Prampi Makara district on September 29—also splashing herself in the face by accident, according to police. The motivation for the attack remains unknown.
Ros Sina, chief of the district police’s general crimes section, said Monday that Mr. Socheata was still recovering from serious burns at a hospital in Vietnam, while investigators were attempting to track down Ms. Likim with the help of the victim’s uncle.
“Our forces have been searching for the suspect, but we have not found her yet, and we got some information from the victim’s relative, who said the suspect could be in Bavet [City], Neak Leung [town] or Battambang province,” he said.
After the Pchum Ben holiday, which ends today, Mr. Sina said police would request arrest warrants and search for Ms. Likim in the three locations.
Mr. Socheata’s uncle, Sok Sarin —who initially speculated that his nephew was attacked because he had broken off his relationship with Ms. Likim—said Monday that he was confident that the suspect was in one of the locations.
“After the attack, the suspect visited a clinic in Neak Leung to seek medical attention for her face, which also suffered acid burns,” Mr. Sarin said, explaining that he had seen photos of the clinic posted to Ms. Likim’s Facebook page and visited it the next day.
“When I visited the clinic, the physician told me that Ms. Likim had been in a hurry to leave after the treatment,” he said, adding that he believed she may have continued down National Road 1 to the border city of Bavet.
“I think she is looking for a hiding place and a job to cover her daily living expenses, like working at a casino,” he said.