Slain Boy a Part of Suspected Business Dispute

Police in Ratanakkiri province on Thursday said they had no leads in the suspected murder of an 11-year-old boy whose body was found bound and face down inside his home the day before.

Thay Choan Kim, 11, was found dead by his older brother inside their home in O’Chum district’s O’Chum commune, at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday, said commune police chief Lor Makara. He said the boy’s parents had left him home alone a few hours earlier to tend to their grocery shop in Banlung City.

“His hands and legs were tied up and his mouth was shut with tape,” he said. “The boy was brought to the provincial referral hospital, but unfortunately he had already died.”

District police chief Thak Lao said the death was being treated as a suspected murder case.

“It is not a robbery case because none of the family’s property was missing,” he said. “The boy’s neck had bruising, so we concluded that the boy was strangled by someone.”

Mr. Lao said five people, mostly neighbors, had been questioned.

“We have questioned five people since yesterday, but we have not arrested anyone yet because we did not have enough evidence,” he said. “We are having difficulty with the investigation because no witnesses saw any suspects walking into the house before the murder.”

Police suspect that the boy was murdered because of a business dispute his parents may have had, but Mr. Lao said the parents insisted that they could think of no enemies who would want to take revenge.

“The parents told police they had no idea who the suspects could be because they never had any dispute with anyone before,” he said.

Mr. Lao said the parents had already taken the body to their hometown in Kompong Cham province for the funeral.

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