The Kampot Provincial Court yesterday handed down charges to the lead suspect in the gruesome murder and suspected rape of a 14-year-old girl in Kampot province.
San No, 24, was charged by the court with premeditated murder and denied bail, and could face 30 years to life in prison, according to Kampot deputy provincial penal police chief Kong Sakhon.
Last Monday evening, victim Khun Nay disappeared in the Lboeuk commune of Chhouk district. On Wednesday at 6am, her mutilated corpse was found by her sister in a field a few hundred metres from her house.
According to investigator James McCabe, director of the Phnom Penh-based Child Protection Unit, the victim’s face “had been removed to the bone”, cut away with the serrated edge of a palm frond. The face was not found.
The victim was also stabbed through the neck with a 10-centimetre long piece of fencepost that investigators later found fit into a missing part of the suspect’s own fence. The victim’s eyes were also gored.
McCabe said that circumstantial evidence suggested that the minor was raped, though forensic material collected at the crime scene was still being tested.
Two other men were also initially arrested for their potential connection to the case, but were later released without charge. According to local police, villagers had seen No arguing with the victim the night of her disappearance, and McCabe described him as “a very strong suspect”.
“We’ve investigated a lot of brutal, horrific murders. But this level of anger we’ve rarely encountered,” he said.