Kandal provincial police are investigating what appears to be a kidnapping for ransom gone horribly wrong after a 24-year-old man from Takhmao Town was discovered floating in a pond in Kampong Speu on Saturday with a gunshot wound to the head.
Local police said the victim, Heng Piset, 24, the son of a local baker, was first reported missing by his parents on Thursday. That afternoon, the authorities found Piset’s car, a Lexus, at an access road. Piset wasn’t inside.
According to police, the family then received a phone call. It was the suspect, demanding $300,000 for their son’s life. They responded by offering $100,000. They didn’t hear from the caller again.
“I do not know when the victim died, but I was told he disappeared two to three days before his body was found,” Kampong Speu provincial police chief Som Sak said.
Since the murder may have happened around Takhmao, in Kandal province, or in Kampong Speu, where the body was left, police in both areas are cooperating on the investigation.
Sak said that Piset was found at 1:30pm on Saturday in a pond near Kok mountain in Baset district. He cautioned that the motive for the crime was vague and said that “we do not know if this is a case of spite or kidnapping”.
Authorities believe that Piset was taken from his car, bound and moved to the site, where the suspect shot him dead with a K-54 pistol.
Piset’s left hand was handcuffed and his feet were tied together with duct tape. Local authorities said he was hit in the head with a blunt object and shot. A bullet casing was found nearby.
The suspect remains at large and his identity remains a mystery, according to General Eav Chamreoun, Kandal provincial police chief.
“I am working on this case, but we do not know who the suspect is yet because it happened just two or three days ago,” he said.