Three boys were savagely hacked to death by a teenager in an apparent fit of jealousy in Siem Reap province on Saturday, according to police.
Aing Suoy, 8, Mat Ya, 13, and Mich Ka Art, 16, were attacked with a scythe in a cassava field in Angkor Chum district’s Kok Doung commune after they were knocked from their motorbike, according to James McCabe, director of the National Police’s Child Protection Unit.
“Between 12pm and 12:30pm yesterday, while riding a motorcycle on a provincial dirt track, three young males were confronted by the offender who was armed with a long machete-type weapon and attacked them, causing the motorcycle to crash,” McCabe said. “The offender continued his attack on the heads of the victims, causing all three fatal head injuries as well as defensive injuries.”
The alleged killer, who fled the murder scene on the motorbike his victims had been riding, was arrested later that day.
“About five hours after the incident, authorities arrested the suspect, Chhin Chhen, 17, at Kok Doung village, Kok Doung commune,” said Angkor Chum district police chief, Man Sophat.
He added that two of the victims died at the murder scene, while a third succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital.
The oldest of the murdered boys was the target of the attack, according to McCabe, who added that Chhen had made a full confession.
“The suspect has told police that a few days ago he saw the victim riding his moto with a girl, and that this is one of the reasons he carried out the attack,” McCabe said.
Chhen also reportedly admitting to killing the younger victims because they were potential witnesses of the crime.
“The younger boys knew the suspect, and were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” McCabe added.
In addition to a possible love triangle, there was a history of antipathy between the older victim and his alleged murderer, who are both from Kok Doung village.
“The oldest victim and the offender had been working in Thailand in late 2014, and knew each other there,” McCabe said.
“The victim came back to Cambodia, to get away from the offender, because the pair had problems with each other in Thailand.”
Police were able to take DNA samples from blood on the murder weapon, blood stains on the suspect’s shirt and from the victims themselves, McCabe added.
Deputy provincial police chief Koan Sambath said that documents were being prepared for Chhen to appear in court today to be charged with premeditated murder and robbery.