A couple stabbed each other to death in Takeo province on Sunday night following a heated dispute, according to local police, though no witnesses were present to corroborate that conclusion.
The pair of duck farmers from Koh Andet district were working in nearby Kirivong, where they stayed overnight and became embroiled in the fatal argument, says Yang Dara, Kirivong district deputy police chief.
“Their daughter said she and her younger sister were sleeping and were woken by her mother’s calls for help. She got up and saw her mother bleeding on the ground and father sitting injured outside,” he said.
The woman had lost consciousness before the ambulance arrived, by which time her husband was pronounced dead.
Only a single knife was found at the scene, but police speculated the woman initially stabbed her husband in the stomach, inciting him to retaliate, stabbing her in the neck and back.
While police confirmed neither party had been drinking, accounts from family members suggested a possible history of mental illness, with the couple’s daughter telling Dara that “a ghost spirit sometimes goes into her father, changing him into another person”.
The incident is the second spousal murder this week and a rights group worker yesterday said authorities need to take more preventative action.
“There is not enough of a sense of urgency,” says Chhan Sokun-thea of rights group Adhoc. “In many cases, victims go to the police or Women’s Ministry to make a complaint, but are not taken seriously and no intervention is made.
Then we see the situation escalate into killings such as this.”