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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Suicide suspected for Vallier

Suicide suspected for Vallier

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Preliminary police investigations indicate that suicide was the cause of death for French national Laurent Vallier, whose remains were found alongside his four children’s in Kampong Speu province earlier this month, Cambodia’s national police spokesman said yesterday.

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Laurent Vallier (above) and the bodies of his four children were found in a car submerged behind their house earlier this month.

Police spokesman Kirt Chantarith said that police had found no signs of foul play, but believe Vallier deliberately drove himself and his children into the pond near his house where all five bodies were found.

“At his house, no property had been touched, everything was in order,” Kirt Chantarith said, adding that the only interference was the removal of an urn containing Vallier’s wife’s ashes, which was discovered inside the car after it was hauled out of the nearby pond.

“The car doors were locked and the car was found in third gear,” Kirt Chantarith said.

“Police cannot say if Laurent had drugs in his system, but they suspect the children were drugged before they were placed in the car. 

“Police have concluded he likely drove the car into the pond himself, as there are no other footprints leading away from where the car was found.”

French Embassy first councillor Dominique Mas told the Post the French police team investigating the death has left Cambodia after drafting a preliminary joint report with a group of Cambodian experts.

“Since there is a legal investigation which is currently (being) carried out, the French embassy will not make any comment on it and about the various inputs of this investigation,” Mas said via email.

“The French embassy urges the national authorities to carry on with the important efforts they have been doing in order to clarify the causes of these deaths which plunge our two, Cambodian and French, communities into mourning.”

Mas said French authorities had conducted autopsy examinations and had taken DNA samples back to France for further examination.

A French investigating judge had been assigned to the case and Vallier’s family would participate in proceedings as civil parties, he said.

Provincial police deputy chief Sam Sa Moun said he could not comment on the causes of death. “We have to await results from the French authorities,” he said. A villager found Vallier, 42, with his two daughters and two sons, aged between two and 11, on January 14.

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