Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man arrested in child’s killing

Man arrested in child’s killing

Man arrested in child’s killing

Police in Kampong Cham province’s Stung Trang district are holding a 33-year-old suspect accused of murdering and robbing his 7-year-old neighbour for a gold chain.

Suspect Houng Bunthein was arrested Friday, after victim Kong Piseth’s body was found floating in a creek with a cord wrapped around his neck, James McCabe, operations manager at the Phnom Penh-based Child Protection Unit (CPU) said yesterday.

“[Bunthein’s] initial comments were he was angry at the child because he hit his child,” McCabe said yesterday.

But according to deputy district police chief Kheng Silon, it was later determined that Bunthein does not have any children, but the victim had gotten into a fight with his nephew, who calls Bunthein “papa”.

However, McCabe said he believed the motivation for the murder was a gold necklace the victim wore, which weighed about three grams and, McCabe estimated, is worth about $200. Police later found Piseth’s jewellery, which was taken from him, at Bunthein’s house.

Piseth’s mother first became worried about her son at about 12:30pm on Friday, when she called for him, and he did not come, McCabe said. While looking for her son, the boy’s mother asked Bunthein, her next-door neighbour, if he had seen him.

Bunthein told her he had not.

At about 5:30pm that evening, McCabe said, villagers found the boy’s body floating in a creek, and alerted local police. CPU officials arrived in the village the next morning to assist in the investigation.

Authorities determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation and drowning, McCabe said. However, Silon said Piseth was dead before he was thrown into the water.

When he was first brought in for questioning Friday, Bunthein was uncooperative, McCabe said. But when authorities established that Piseth’s necklace was at his home, he reportedly confessed to the murder.

“Based on what the suspect said, he killed the boy, because the boy got into a conflict with his nephew,” Silon said. “His nephew was the boy’s friend, but the boy hit his nephew on the back and the suspect got angry; so he killed the boy.”

Silon yesterday was unsure when Bunthein will be charged in court.


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all