A computer teacher from the Worldwide School in Phnom Penh has been sent to pre-trial detention in Prey Sar prison for the kidnap and brutal murder of his eight-year-old student over the weekend.
Deputy prosecutor Sok Roeun, who spent several hours questioning 22-year-old Nil Saran yesterday, said he had concluded the suspect was responsible for the kidnapping and killing of Kong Rasy Sathya, the son of a US embassy security guard.
“I have sent this case to investigating judge Chea Sokheang after my interrogation,” Sok Roeun said.
Chea Sokheang told the Post he had questioned the suspect until 5pm yesterday.
“We then decided to temporarily imprison him for the alleged kidnapping and killing of the boy, and he has now been transported to Prey Sar prison,” the judge said.
Kong Rasy Sathya’s father received a ransom phone call on Saturday after his son did not return home from his classes at the Worldwide School.
He agreed to pay the negotiated ransom of $3,500, but his son was not returned to him.
Late on Sunday night, the boy’s beaten and bloodied body was found stuffed in the hole of a stupa at Champos Ka-ek.
Police and Ministry of Interior officials who had been involved in negotiating the ransom apprehended three suspects on Monday, including Nil Saran’s girlfriend and brother.
Although Kandal province district police said yesterday all three suspects had confessed, Chhay Sinarith, director of the Ministry of Interior’s internal security department, said only one of the suspects had been sent to court for intentional kidnapping and murder.
“The other two have been found not guilty and have been released,” Chhay Sinarith said.
“The suspect Nil Saran used to teach the victim every Saturday and Sunday, and last Saturday, tricked the boy by saying he would drive him to his father’s workplace after class.
“He then wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck and hit the victim’s head with a rock, but the victim kept shouting for help,” Chhay Sinarith told the Post Nil Saran had said.
“So the suspect drove to Chumpos Ka-ek pagoda and held the victim’s head underwater in a pond there until he drowned and then stuffed his body in the stupa.
“Nil Saran said he had committed the kidnapping because he needed the money to marry his girlfriend,” Chhay Sinarith said. “But we believe he planned to kill the boy anyway – he told us he would have had to kill the boy to eliminate evidence in case the victim could identify him.”
Chhay Sinarith said that based on the preliminary findings of police, Nil Saran should face a lifetime behind bars for his actions, but they would have to wait to see the decision of the court.
Hen Syna, 41, the victim’s mother, said she and her husband had met with the suspect a few times before the weekend’s tragic events.
“It is incredible to believe that the teacher whom I trust killed my son, and he seems not to be a bad person, so how can he kill my son?” she said.
“As all parents would know, I feel such pain for my son who was killed so unsympathetically,” Hen Syna said.
“I do not believe that the teacher we met could kill my son alone, and that is why I want the police and the court to find justice for my family and to arrest his accomplices for punishment over their atrocity,” she added.
Representatives from Worldwide School could not be contacted for comment yesterday.