Suspect in Double Murder Case Found Dead

A man suspected of brutally killing a 30-year-old Canadia Bank employee and her 11-month-old nephew on Monday has been found beaten to death in Stung Treng City, police said Thursday.

Stung Treng provincial police chief Duong Sivoutha said 21-year-old Vann Chetra was found on the side of a road by police Tuesday night, a day after Tith Theara was shot 14 times at her home in Pur Senchey district.

Tith Somalen, 35, a former wedding party singer, suffered a gunshot wound to her thigh, and is the only survivor of the shooting. Her 11-month-old son was killed by a single bullet to the head.

Police have said they suspect Ms. Somalen was the actual target of the attack, and that her relationship with a married man in Stung Treng might have provoked the shooting.

“[Vann Chetra’s] head was badly hit with a wooden stick and his face had two scars and the back side of his head was split open,” Mr. Si­voutha said, adding that police were searching for three men who were drinking with Vann Chetra on the night of his murder.

After Vann Chetra’s death, Pur Senchey district police chief Born Sam Ath saw images of him on Apsara TV and decided to show the pictures to Ms. Somalen, who verified the shooter’s identity.

“I showed her [Ms. Somalen] the video after I saw the news on Apsara TV because I suspected that the victim was the shooter,” he said. “Then she and other witnesses claimed that the guy in the video is the shooter.”

Chuon Narin, deputy municipal police chief, said authorities need to continue investigating to make sure that Vann Chetra was in fact the shooter.

“Our initial conclusion is that we can say the guy is the shooter as the victim has identified the dead man, but we need to do more examination to ensure if it’s true or not,” Mr. Narin said.

In Bora, penal police chief at the Ministry of Interior, said there was enough evidence to prove that the death of Vann Chetra was firmly linked to the double murder in Phnom Penh on Monday.

“We have a lot of information about the gunman who was killed in Stung Treng and are sure it is linked to the shootings in Phnom Penh,” he said.

Ms. Somalen, who attended a funeral ceremony Thursday for her sister and son at the site of the shooting, confirmed that police had shown her a video showing the face of the man who died in Stung Treng City.

“Yes, I watched the video and I am 100 percent sure it is the guy,” Ms. Somalen said, before she was ushered into her home by family members.

(Additional reporting by Saing Soenthrith)

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