Police in Phnom Penh on Saturday arrested a suspect in the murder and suspected sexual assault of a female security guard in Russei Keo district’s Tuol Sangke commune, officials said yesterday.
The 41-year-old widow and mother of three was found bound by the hands and feet in a sewer Thursday night, about 300 meters from the Hong Meng Ta garment factory, which she had been guarding.
Phnom Penh police chief Touch Naruth said yesterday that the suspect, Nuth Souphoan, who lives opposite the factory where the victim. Yim Sreymom, worked, had allegedly followed her as she headed home from work on Wednesday night.
When they reached a quiet area, the man, returning from a night of drinking, grabbed her by the neck, covered her mouth and tied her hands and feet together.
“This is the most cruel case that ever happened in my district,” said deputy district police chief Chan Sahuth, who is in charge of felony cases. He added that police arrested 31-year-old Mr Souphoan on Saturday night after gathering information from witnesses.
“We arrested him for rape and murder,” said Mr Sahuth. “He has already confessed.”
Police on Thursday said they suspected the crime had been committed by multiple people but said yesterday said the investigation had since led them to believe Mr Souphoan acted alone.
“At first we thought there were multiple criminals…. After the investigation, there is only one person,” said Mr Sahuth.
According to Mr Sahuth, the police took the suspect to the crime scene yesterday morning where he walked them through the crime.
After pulling Ms Sreymomm off the road and binding her arms and legs, Mr Souphoan allegedly forced her to perform oral sex before bringing her to a sewer and drowning her.
“He lured the victim [promising] to keep her alive by leaving her next to the road so people who drove by would see her and release her,” said Mr Sahuth. “But after the rape, he drowned her in the sewer.”
“The perpetrator killed her because she saw his face and would have known him well,” added Mr Sahuth.