An American man found murdered in Phnom Penh last week was wanted in the US on drug charges and had his passport confiscated by the US Embassy before his death, a police official said yesterday.
The bruised body of teacher William Glenn, 43, was found wrapped in a curtain in a Por Sen Chey district trash heap last Wednesday.
“The ... team from the US Embassy here told us they had been looking for this guy because he was involved in a drug case and they wanted to send him back to the US,” said Choun Narin, deputy Phnom Penh municipal police chief in charge of penal crime.
“He’s a wanted criminal – that was why the embassy kept his passport and when he was found dead, we found only a copied one.”
Narin did not elaborate on the specifics of the drug charge.
John Simmons, deputy public affairs officer at the US Embassy, would not comment yesterday on Glenn’s passport, or whether the victim was wanted in his home country, saying he could not provide such details due to Privacy Act “considerations”.
“Inquiries may be addressed to the Cambodian police authorities who are handling the investigation,” he wrote in an email, adding that the embassy was not involved in the case.
But Narin said police were working with the embassy to investigate Glenn’s murder.
“We have no clue as to who the perpetrator is, but we are working with the [embassy] now because they took some [items] from a guesthouse,” he said, referring to the place Glenn had been staying before his death.
But Simmons said this was not because the embassy was investigating but because it often collected and sent “personal effects, including clothing and other personal belongings, to the family of any American Citizen who dies in Cambodia”.
Mok Chito, director of the central justice police department at the Ministry of Interior, said municipal police were handling the case “directly”, so he was not aware of how far the investigation had progressed.
Glenn, who was born in Mississippi, had been teaching at schools in Phnom Penh since May after separating from his wife in Thailand.
Heng Sokuthy, manager of the Golden Gate American School, where Glenn had briefly taught, said his employee had mentioned living in Bangkok.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHANE WORRELL AND SEAH TEEHAN