Six Arrested in Killing of Girl, 14, for Luck

Authorities on Wednesday sent six people to Battambang provincial court to answer charges they killed a 14-year-old girl because they believed it would bring them good luck.

Police are seeking murder charges against Koun Chea, 22, his wife, Chea Sokha, 22, his sister Koun Ponle, 23, his mother Koun Ha, 49, his brother-in-law Sok Mao, 27, and his friend Soum So Ge Want, 19, alleging the group planned and carried out the Feb 23 killing of Sok Chan­trea, Battambang province penal police chief Le Tal said.

Authorities allege Koun Chea, an aspiring sorcerer from Thom Koul district, had a dream in which his dead father came to him and told him: “If you want to have a good business, kill a virgin girl for me,” Le Tal said. He approached his relatives and Som So Ge Want, who was studying sorcery with him, and told them about his plans. They agreed to help, Le Tal said.

On the day of the killing, Koun Chea dug a hole in the thick woods near his home, Le Tal said. He had Koun Ponle and Chea Sokha invite the victim to his family’s home to try on some clothes. There, he and Soum So Ge Want strangled her.

Koun Chea then hid the girl’s body under his bed and waited for nightfall, Le Tal said. Kuon Chea buried the girl in the hole. Five days later, he moved the body again, this time deep into the forest.

Last Saturday, a boy hunting rats in the forest found Sok Chantrea’s body underneath a pile of leaves and charcoal, Le Tal said. Police traced the leaves back to Koun Chea’s family home. He has since admitted to the killing, Le Tal said.


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