Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mother detained in death of infant




Mother detained in death of infant

Mother detained in death of infant

A mother is being held in police custody after her 6-month-old infant was found murdered on Tuesday in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Sangke commune, possibly by the girl’s stepfather, police said yesterday.

Commune police chief Huy Hean said Chan Ratana, 27, had briefly left her daughter in the care of her boyfriend. When her partner allegedly informed her that her child was unwell, she returned home and found her daughter dead.

James McCabe, director of NGO Child Protection Unit (CPU), said that after the child’s death was confirmed at Calmette Hospital, Ratana took the body to a pagoda, where police found it. He said a forensic pathologist ruled out an accident. “The cause of death [is] suffocation.”

The boyfriend, Keu Hamsas, 29, has not yet been located, and police have identified him as a suspect. According to district deputy police chief Ev Chhun Peng, Ratana has been detained since Tuesday evening after she was suspected of warning Hamsas not to go to the police and failing to report the infant’s death. “We are still figuring out whether the suspect did it alone or whether she joined hands [with him]”, Peng said.

He added that heroin was detected in the mother’s blood, and that she will be sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning today.

Peng declined to comment on charges, but McCabe said she could face counts of concealing a crime and drug abuse.

According to McCabe, this is the 21st murder of a child under the age of 15 in Cambodia this year. Last year saw 25 such murders and eight attempted murders.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,