Suspect Sought in Possible Kep Rape-Murder of 14-year-old

Kep provincial police are searching for a suspect in connection with the murder and possible attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl, a police official said yesterday.

The girl’s body was found in a forest about 500 meters from her home around 9 pm on Monday in Kep city’s Kep commune, said Mom Sitha, Kep city police chief. Mr Sitha said the girl had disappeared in the early afternoon, causing the girl’s family to search for her in the surrounding area.

He said police are investigating.

“We have some clues,” Mr Sitha said before declining to comment further and referring questions to deputy provincial police chief Has Sitha.

Has Sitha said that preliminary results did not indicate that the girl had enemies and that police had found that she was not wearing jewelry when she disappeared. The deputy police chief added that a medical exam found no evidence of rape.

“She had no revenge with someone, did not lose property and the examination did not show rape,” Mr Has Sitha said. “So, in the primary conclusion, police are considering this case an attempted rape and then murder.”

Has Sitha said the girl had injuries on the back of her neck and the front of her head, indicating that the suspect may have held her neck during an attempted rape and later hit her forehead against the ground.

The deputy police chief said the last rape-murder he recalled in Kep occurred in 2006, when a girl of about 10 years was raped and killed. The culprit was sentenced to 20 years in prison, he said.

Sim Sorphea, Kampot and Kep provincial investigator for the women’s section of human rights group Adhoc, noted that several rape-murders had been recorded in Kampot province so far this year. The Cambodia Daily reported last week that Kampot officials said that in 2010 three-rape murders occurred in Kampot.

Adhoc recorded 26 rape-murder cases in the first half of this year, while The Cambodia Daily has reported 14 cases and seven arrests in 2010.


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