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Wife, daughter slain by officer

A grim double murder-suicide has police in Battambang province looking for answers after a deputy military police chief shot dead his wife and 3-year-old daughter on Wednesday before turning the gun on himself.

Rith Thy, 49, deputy chief of Phnom Proek district’s military police department, parked his motorbike in front of the district hall that evening with his wife, 27-year-old Sok Panha, and daughter, Chan Na, said An Yoeuth, deputy police chief of Phnom Proek district’s Pichr Chenda commune. He then pulled out a handgun and shot his wife in the chest, his daughter in the right side and himself in the chest.

“The wife was sent to the hospital, but she died,” Yoeuth said. “After he shot his wife and daughter, he shot himself in the chest, too.”

Police are left scratching their heads for specific motives, Yoeuth said. Thy and Panha were known to have been arguing in the days leading up to the double murder-suicide, and in similar cases Yoeuth has seen, a husband’s jealousy provided the catalyst.

Neither Thy nor Panha had close family, which makes investigating the crime more challenging, Yoeuth said.

“They do not have relatives, so it is difficult for us to find a reason for the crime,” Yoeuth said yesterday. “As our first conclusion, we suspect that it was motivated by jealousy, but we are not sure [in this case].”

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