A man in his 40s hung himself after slashing his second wife to death on Saturday evening in the capital’s Tuol Sangke I commune.

Police suspect that the murder stemmed from jealousy.

The commune police chief, Norng Sarbong, said on Sunday that the victim’s body was bound with electrical wires and that her shoulder, neck and wrist were slashed.

He suggested that the suspect might have used a cleaver to kill his wife. However, the neighbours presumed the victim had been electrocuted to death before being mutilated.

“The officers who went into the house and investigated the scene told me that judging from the cut marks on the [victim’s] body and the bloodstain pattern, she was likely slashed with a cleaver."

“The neighbours, on the other hand, claimed she was killed by electronic shock due to the electrical wires found around her body,” Sarbong said.

After the suspect killed the victim, Sarbong continued, he did not immediately hang himself.

He noted that the suspect didn’t kill his three-year-old step-daughter who witnessed her mother being abused and killed and rushed outside to seek help from the neighbours.

“When the neighbours arrived at the scene, the door was locked. The suspect was scared because the house was surrounded by people, so he hung himself from the ceiling,” he said.

The neighbours eventually broke the door with an axe but were unable to prevent him from dying.

Sarbong said the 22-year-old victim was from Kampong Cham province and worked as a chef. She lived in a rented room and the last time she lived with the suspect was a year ago.

Meanwhile, he continued, the suspect was approximately 40 years old from Kampot province, worked as a jeweller and had another wife who lives at Phsar Chas commune.

The motive for the murder is unknown, but accounts from the neighbours suggested that it was fuelled by jealousy. The suspect visited the victim once every few days, they said.

Sarbong presumed the suspect didn’t kill his step-daughter because he loved her like a daughter.

The remains of the deceased were handed over to her family to be buried.