The third and final suspect wanted over the brutal gang rape and murder of a 24-year-old woman in Kampong Thom province last November was arrested in Kampot province on Tuesday – just days before he was due to marry.
Aum Kreom, 17, had fled to the province to escape arrest, and was likely trying to lie low at the home of his fiancée, whom he was due to marry this Sunday, said Soung Theng, police chief of Kampong Thom’s Baray district, where the crime occurred.
Last November, together with two other accomplices – Taing Channy and Lun Chen, both 17 – Kreom allegedly raped and murdered 24-year-old Chhom Sean, a rice farmer who lived in the village of Bantheay Chas.
Sean was harvesting rice when she was attacked. After the crime, her assailants dumped her body in a muddy forest pool and fled.
Police officials noted that her hands were bound and the attack was especially “ferocious”.
Although an eyewitness managed to identify Sean’s attackers, police were unable to locate and arrest them immediately after the rape and murder, Theng said.
Channy and Chen managed to evade capture for months, but both were arrested in January when they returned to their homes in Kampong Thom.
All three men were charged – Kreom in absentia – with rape and murder in January, but have yet to stand trial.
Chea Peoun, chief of the Kampong Thom provincial criminal department, said yesterday that all three men were in pre-trial detention.
“All three suspects in the Kampong Thom Provincial Court arrest warrant have been caught and sent to prison,” he said.
The arrest came a day after a 21-year-old man was charged in Phnom Penh over his alleged part in the gang rape of a 20-year-old woman in the capital’s Russey Keo district on Saturday night.
Police were yesterday continuing their search for other men involved in the hours-long attack in bushes in Koh Dach commune.