A 43-year-old American man was found strangled to death on the outskirts of Phnom Penh early Wednesday morning. His bruised body was wrapped in a curtain bound with duct tape and thrown onto a dumpsite on a dirt road in Prek Pnov district, police and villagers said.
The body was discovered at about 5:45 a.m. in Kok Roka commune by a 12-year-old boy who had gone to throw trash at the dump, said Yim Saran, chief of police in Pur Senchey district, who was in charge of the crime scene.
Police identified the victim as William Bryan Glenn from Mississippi and said they found a wallet containing credit cards and a photocopied page of his passport in the pocket of his shorts.
“Our police came to the scene after the boy alerted his family in the village. There were bruises on the man’s neck and body and some blood from his nose, so this was murder, not suicide,” Mr. Saran said.
The doctor who examined the body, Norng Sovann Roath, confirmed that bruising around the neck suggested the victim died due to strangulation.
“The victim could have died anywhere up to 24 hours before he was found,” he said.
Kok Roka commune police chief Suon Samoeun said a villager had reported seeing a tuk-tuk accompanied by a motorcyclist drive into the dirt road alongside Chea Sim Chhouk Wa High School at about 3 a.m. and stop briefly at the dumpsite.
“The victim was likely brought from somewhere else to be dumped here,” he said.
The American came to Cambodia from Bangkok just over a month ago and posted his resume to several Cambodian expat websites seeking work as a teacher in Phnom Penh.
“I just arrived 2 days ago, with very little information from anyone, because I’ve never met anyone that’s taught here,” he wrote in a post on the website Expat Blog on May 4.
He began teaching English at Golden Gate American School’s Tuol Kok campus in June, but according to the school’s accountant, Kun Thy, he left after one month when the term ended.
“He stopped working at the end of the month as it was the end of the school year, so he only worked for a month—he always came to work, but I don’t know if he was coming back or anything else,” she said.
Three days ago, he posted a job ad on the Beijing-based online magazine The Beijinger seeking immediate employment as a summer camp teacher, requesting “free accommodation starting in the next few days.”
William Glenn was also a part-time evening class teacher at Collingwood English Institute, but the school’s new director, Michael Sharpe, said the American had not turned up for scheduled classes this week.
“I only met him once, when he came to introduce himself to me. But he missed a teachers’ meeting last week and then didn’t turn up to classes on Monday so I thought he was another expat no-show,” Mr. Sharpe said.
But the afternoon before he was murdered, he called the school receptionist to say he was fit to teach his class at 5:30 p.m., according to Mr. Sharpe.
“I’m not sure if he called, or if someone called on his behalf, but he didn’t turn up and I had to take the class,” he said.
Andy Feather, a former teacher at Golden Gate from Northern Ireland, said he had been acquainted with the victim for a few weeks before leaving his job at the school.
“I didn’t socialize with him but I talked to him at school and he was quite jaded—he’d been teaching for about 18 years in Thailand and China and he’d said he was fed up with it. Apart from that, no one knew anything about him,” he said.
The U.S. Embassy declined to comment citing privacy concerns.
William Glenn’s body was taken to Yim Morturary inside Stung Meanchey pagoda pending a police investigation, staff confirmed.