takhmau city, Kandal province – Police in Kandal province found three women murdered execution-style inside their Takhmau City home on Saturday morning, but said yesterday they had no suspects in the crime or clues to a possible motive.
Provincial penal police chief Moeu Chantha said his officers found the women—Sok Koeu, 48, her 24-year-old daughter, Seng Muoy Kea, and their 15-year-old domestic servant, Pach Sreynia—lying dead on a mattress in a room above the family’s Chinese noodle shop in Takhmau commune, with a single bullet wound to each of their heads.
“Our Kandal provincial investigation police concluded that this case is murder,” Mr Chantha said, adding that $10,000 in US dollars was found tucked under the mattress where the bodies were found. He declined to comment on the motive for the attack, the significant amount of cash at the scene or whether police had any suspects.
He said police found no evidence of a forced entry, however, and suspected the involvement of at least two gunmen. Forensic evidence indicated that the victims had been shot with a handgun about 20 hours before the bodies were discovered, he added.
As authorities carried the bodies of the victims out of their house one by one on Saturday morning, a crowd of more than 100 locals, neighbors and relatives gathered around the front gate, some weeping.
One distraught relative, who declined to give her name, said the extended family had congregated at a local pagoda on Friday to mark the Pchum Ben holiday.
“On Friday, all the victims’ relatives went to the Pchum Ben festival at the pagoda together and later on we separated to our own places, but on Saturday morning we found them dead inside their home,” said the woman, who also said she had no information that could explain the killings.
According to the relative, the mother was a widow with eight siblings who had been running the Chinese noodle shop out of the ground floor of her home for the past 10 years.
Takhmau City police chief Tor Phanna and his deputy, Min Bunchhoeun, also declined to comment on a motive for the attack, but said authorities were diligently investigating the case.
Kandal provincial governor Chhun Sirun said he was aware of the case, but could not discuss it because it involved an ongoing police investigation.
“Our provincial police are working to investigate,” Mr Sirun said. “I cannot provide more details because it involves police expertise.”
Provincial police chief Iv Chamroeun said he was too busy to speak with a reporter.