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Arrest made in rape and murder of Ratanakkiri teenager

Arrest made in rape and murder of Ratanakkiri teenager

Police yesterday arrested a man suspected of raping and killing a high school senior in Ratanakkiri’s Banlung town on Friday.

Ath Sing, an 18-year-old ethnic Kroeung girl, went missing on Thursday night after family members discovered she was not in her usual sleeping spot at the grocery store in front of the family’s main home in Banlung town.

Suon Savuth, Kachanh commune police chief, said that the girl’s parents woke up before dawn to buy vegetables but could not find their daughter. After searching, they found her naked body about 15 metres from the store, Savuth said.

Teng Savuth, Banlung town deputy police chief, said authorities arrested Chea Den, 39, on suspicion of raping and suffocating the teenager. Den has not confessed to the crime but “some points [of his story] are consistent with when the victim left the school”, Savuth said.

In a similar case in October, a grade 12 student from a different high school in Banlung town was found dead in a cassava field in Lumphat district.

Theng Chanty, Lumphat district police chief, said yesterday that authorities have arrested 18-year-old suspect Chel Oun, who remains in detention pending charges from the court. Oun, too, has not confessed to the crime, Chanty said.

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