Police in Phnom Penh are investigating the presumed murder of an American national, after a man’s body was found bruised, bound and wrapped in a curtain in a Por Sen Chey district trash heap yesterday.
Por Sen Chey district police chief Khim Sarann identified the man as William Glenn, 43, of Mississippi. According to a profile on website Expatblog, Glenn was an English teacher who spent the past decade teaching in Thailand, and was looking for a job teaching in Phnom Penh as recently as May.
“We will investigate this case to find the killer,” Sarann said yesterday.
A young boy bringing garbage from his home to the trash heap in Kouk Roka commune’s Andong village – located near a primary school – found the body at about 6am yesterday, Andong villager Tham Setha said.
The boy ran away, telling adults he had seen a ghost. Neighbours gathered around to take a look at the scene, Setha said, before her husband and others called police.
Police brought the body to Krain Thnung pagoda to examine it.
When found in Andong village, the body was bound, with twine tied around the shoulders, waist and ankles, said Tes Chanthan, 58, a funeral procession layman at Kraing Thnung pagoda.
Glenn’s arms were behind his back and it appeared he had been severely beaten in the chest, back and neck, Chanthan said. Based on the bruising he saw, Chanthan added, it appeared Glenn’s neck had been broken by blows to the back of the neck.
“When the investigating police untied knots of the twine and unwrapped the cloth covering the body, I saw that the body had black and blue marks on the neck,” Chanthan said at the pagoda yesterday.
Deputy toxicology department officer Yao Ma yesterday said police are not yet sure of the cause of death, which remains under investigation.
“We have not yet reached a conclusion regarding the cause of death,” Ma said last night. “We have formed a committee to investigate the case.”
In the mortuary of Stung Meanchey pagoda, where the body is being held in a large freezer, there appeared to be heavy bruising to the chest and neck of Glenn’s body – which was clad only in camouflage shorts.
The rubbish heap where Glenn was found is not a well-known spot outside those who live nearby, Sambath, a villager, said. Only people with intimate knowledge of the area would be aware of the location, she added.
Meanwhile, Setha said, villagers in the area fear that Glenn’s ghost will now haunt the village. Nothing similar has ever happened there, to her recollection.
US Embassy spokesman Sean McIntosh said in a text message to a Post reporter yesterday that due to privacy considerations, he could not release any information regarding Glenn’s death. He referred questions to local authorities.
For now, Glenn’s body lies on its back on the far right side of the mortuary freezer, hands across its chest and eyes closed.
The corpse will remain there until the US Embassy contacts Glenn’s family to claim his remains, said Yim Vathana, co-owner of the facility. If unable to do so, the embassy will foot the $40-a-day bill, he said.