Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man arrested in child’s killing

Man arrested in child’s killing

Man arrested in child’s killing

Police in Kampong Cham province’s Stung Trang district are holding a 33-year-old suspect accused of murdering and robbing his 7-year-old neighbour for a gold chain.

Suspect Houng Bunthein was arrested Friday, after victim Kong Piseth’s body was found floating in a creek with a cord wrapped around his neck, James McCabe, operations manager at the Phnom Penh-based Child Protection Unit (CPU) said yesterday.

“[Bunthein’s] initial comments were he was angry at the child because he hit his child,” McCabe said yesterday.

But according to deputy district police chief Kheng Silon, it was later determined that Bunthein does not have any children, but the victim had gotten into a fight with his nephew, who calls Bunthein “papa”.

However, McCabe said he believed the motivation for the murder was a gold necklace the victim wore, which weighed about three grams and, McCabe estimated, is worth about $200. Police later found Piseth’s jewellery, which was taken from him, at Bunthein’s house.

Piseth’s mother first became worried about her son at about 12:30pm on Friday, when she called for him, and he did not come, McCabe said. While looking for her son, the boy’s mother asked Bunthein, her next-door neighbour, if he had seen him.

Bunthein told her he had not.

At about 5:30pm that evening, McCabe said, villagers found the boy’s body floating in a creek, and alerted local police. CPU officials arrived in the village the next morning to assist in the investigation.

Authorities determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation and drowning, McCabe said. However, Silon said Piseth was dead before he was thrown into the water.

When he was first brought in for questioning Friday, Bunthein was uncooperative, McCabe said. But when authorities established that Piseth’s necklace was at his home, he reportedly confessed to the murder.

“Based on what the suspect said, he killed the boy, because the boy got into a conflict with his nephew,” Silon said. “His nephew was the boy’s friend, but the boy hit his nephew on the back and the suspect got angry; so he killed the boy.”

Silon yesterday was unsure when Bunthein will be charged in court.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh