An American soldier who escaped to Cambodia in January, deserting the army after his arrest for possessing child pornography and amid allegations of child rape, remains on the run in the Kingdom after he was found on Wednesday working as a dog trainer in Sihanoukville.
Thirty-four-year-old Michael Edward Harris, who called himself Michael Dobbs in Cambodia, fled his apartment yesterday after local internet users found photos of him at a dog training centre in Sihanoukville.
“Now he has just left Preah Sihanouk province and escaped to another province in Cambodia,” said Uk Hai Sela, investigations chief at the Ministry of Interior’s immigration department, declining to comment on where Harris had gone.
“We hope to arrest him soon, in the next couple days.”
Harris entered the Kingdom on January 17, said Hai Sela, explaining that the reason it took so long to find him was because he only stayed in small guesthouses and moved after one or two days.
But sources who requested anonymity confirmed to the Post that Harris had consistently stayed in his flat for over three months before he fled.
Khoem Vando, head of APLE, an NGO which works with the government to track down pedophiles, said Harris was known to be in Cambodia for at least a month but could not be found.
Vando said that Harris’s current whereabouts are unknown, saying APLE agents acted upon reports yesterday that Harris was in Phnom Penh but to no avail.
Harris’s ex-wife, Denise Diaz, a former police officer in Kentucky, was frustrated at the slow response to finding Harris and started a Facebook group to track him down.
Diaz, who counts two of her children as Harris’s victims, said it only took three minutes after she posted an American news report about Harris in an online forum for expats to spot Harris.
“If I can get all that how come the government can’t?”