A pair of teenage girls suspected of strangling a six-year-old girl to death for her earrings and a necklace have been sent to provincial court following their arrest in Koh Kong province’s Khemarak Phumin town earlier this week, police said yesterday.
Local police chief Doung Virak said the two suspects – aged 14 and 15 – were arrested in Phum 4 village in Khemarak Phumin’s Dang Tong commune on Sunday morning after a tip led police to their door.
“The suspects have already been questioned,” Virak said, adding that police were ready to send them to the court yesterday.
According to Virak, the two suspects confessed to the crime, saying that the victim often visited them while wearing earrings and a necklace that appeared to be made of gold.
On the day of the murder, the pair lured the victim behind their home, and strangled her to death, taking the jewellery, he said.
The two dumped the body in a nearby pond, Virak continued, and took a motodop to the local market where they sold the earrings – which weighed less than 0.4 grams – for about $3.
The necklace, he said, was discarded when the suspects saw that it was not real gold.
The victim’s parents, meanwhile, reported that their daughter was missing to Khemarak Pumin town police, who found the body and arrested the suspects after receiving a tip that the victim often played at their house, Virak added.
Neang Boratino, a co-ordinator for the rights group Adhoc in Koh Kong, said that after a meeting with police, he had learned that the suspects’ family was poor, and supported itself by begging, and that the teenagers had allegedly wanted to steal the earrings to buy new clothing.
Boratino added that the victim had survived the initial alleged strangling, but that the suspects had thrown wood onto her as she floated in the pond, weighing her down, and eventually drowning her.
“It is strange,” said Boratino. “In this province, a case like that has not happened.”
The victim’s family could not be reached for comment yesterday.
To contact the reporter on this story: Lieng Sarith at firstname.lastname@example.org