A teenager was arrested in Kandal province on Saturday on suspicion of murdering a 9-year-old girl in a violent bid to steal $28 dollars’ worth of jewellery, according to police.
A report by Ang Snuol district police says 9-year-old Keat Seavly was standing in front of a neighbour’s home on Friday afternoon when the 16-year-old suspect – whom the Post has declined to identify due to her age – allegedly approached.
She “saw the victim was wearing gold earrings and one platinum ring and standing alone in front of someone’s house and then the perpetrator . . . asked the victim to come swimming”, the report says.
Seavly agreed to the invitation, but when the pair reached a nearby rice paddy, the suspect allegedly strangled her to death before stealing the jewellery and fleeing the scene.
“The perpetrator then went to Thanol Torteung market and sold the jewellery for 110,500 riel [about $28] before returning home as normal,” the report says.
“When she arrived home, she saw the family of the victim and the villagers were looking for the victim, so she then pretended to help to find the victim too.”
Seavly’s body was found at around 7pm on Saturday.
The suspect, who then hid in a bush behind her home, was arrested later that night, according to police.
Roeun Nara, Kandal province’s deputy police chief, said the suspect – who has confessed to the crime – will be formally charged by the provincial court today, having been accused by police of murder.
Yesterday morning, “police officials accompanied the perpetrator [to the scene of the alleged attack] and asked her to show them what she did to the victim in the rice field”, he said.
“If the court officials charge her with intentional murder, the perpetrator will get a life sentence,” he added.
James McCabe, director of operations at the Child Protection Unit (CPU), which assisted in the investigation, said it is the third “child on child” murder the CPU has investigated this year.
“It is difficult to understand the murder of any child; it makes it even harder to comprehend when the offender is a child [herself],” he said.