Three members of a family in Oddar Meanchey province were arrested on Friday and Saturday over the murder of a traditional healer they accused of using black magic to make one of them sick, officials said Sunday.
The bloody body of Rem Yoeung, 60, was found outside her house in Chongkal district’s Pongro commune at about 1 p.m. on Friday, according to district police chief Boeu Oeul.
At about 8:30 p.m. that night, Mr. Oeul said, police arrested Samban Buth, 27, at the house of a relative in Oddar Meanchey’s Samraong City. On Saturday, he added, police apprehended Mr. Buth’s mother-in-law, Huot Samnang, 47, and her son, Yean Douch, 25.
“After he was arrested, Mr. Samban Buth admitted to killing the victim because he was angry at her and her husband for using black magic that made his mother-in-law sick,” Mr. Oeul said. “He said he committed the crime because his mother-in-law told him to.”
According to the police chief , Mr. Buth went to Rem Yoeung’s house on Thursday evening after the victim’s husband, Mi Moeut, 62, left to heal someone in another district. He said Mr. Buth asked Rem Yoeung to drink rice wine with him and slit her throat when she became drunk.
“We suspected him because, before the incident, witnesses saw the suspect drinking wine with the victim,” he said. “Also, the villagers saw blood on the suspect’s shirt when he left the house.”
Mr. Oeul said that a week before the murder, Mr. Douch went to Rem Yoeung’s home and threatened to kill her and her husband with an ax if they did not stop using black magic on his mother, who at the time had been sick for a week.
Luo Sey, the chief of Banteay Chor village, where Rem Yoeung lived, said the suspects had been angry with the couple since Mr. Moeut treated Ms. Samnang when she first became sick.
“I know Mr. Moeut’s family are traditional healers, but they never do any black magic to cause someone to die or get sick,” he said.
Mr. Oeul said the suspects would be sent to the provincial court Monday.