KOH Kong Provincial Court yesterday ordered a 52-year-old man to serve pretrial detention in connection with the rape and murder of a 5-year-old girl, whose naked body was found hanging from a tree on Friday in Thmnor Bang district.
Chum Thim was arrested in Tomnab commune on Friday, after the girl was found bloodied and hanged roughly 500 metres from her mother’s farm. Police have concluded the murder took place the night before.
Sok Nhjor, provincial chief of the Serious Crimes Unit, said yesterday the court had detained the suspect and officially charged him with raping the girl.
However, he could not confirm whether the suspect had also been charged with her murder, as investigations were still ongoing.
“It was a very brutal act, that the suspect raped the girl and hanged her with a long leaf around her neck,” he said. “The suspect has not confessed to the rape and murder while he was held at the police station on Monday, but we believe he is the real perpetrator based on hard evidence that we found, such as his underwear and shoes, which were covered in blood.”
He said this is the first case the provincial Serious Crimes Unit, which deals with particularly brutal murders and rapes, has recorded this year.
“The victim’s family came to complain to police on Friday after they found their daughter hanging from the tree, and our investigations led to us apprehending the suspect for interrogations over the allegations,” he said.
“The girl’s mother told our officers that she had left the house to harvest rice in the afternoon with her daughter, but while she was harvesting, the girl went for a walk with her dog and disappeared”.
Court officials could not be reached for comment.