A burning corpse was discovered on Saturday night in Bak Kheng commune’s Bak Kheng village in the capital’s Chroy Changvar district, with police launching a search for the perpetrator.
Bak Kheng commune chief Kong Bunly said on Sunday that a group of workers at a sand dredging company saw a fire at around 9pm on Saturday night.
Thinking that someone was burning company property, he said, they went to investigate. The workers said they saw a Lexus RX330 leaving the scene and then discovered the corpse engulfed in flames. They immediately reported the find to their employer and local police, Bunly said.
He said police quickly visited the scene, found the body still on fire and attempted to extinguish the flames.
However, it was burned, “beyond recognition” from the head to the knees, Bunly said. Police were unable to make an identification – or even to ascertain the victim’s gender.
Remnants of a blue towel were found with the remains, he said, and there was some diesel next to the body.
This led police to conclude that the victim had been wrapped in a towel before being doused with diesel and set on fire, Bunly said.
He continued that since the victim had a slender frame and a bra was found at the scene, the evidence suggests that the body was that of a female.
Bak Kheng commune police chief Meas Thorn said on Sunday that the authorities are looking for the victim’s relatives by appealing to locals to alert them if any family member is missing.
However, he said he was not certain whether the victim was male or female.
“The body was almost completely burned, so it is hard for us to make a conclusion, but it is 90 per cent believed that the victim was female because a bra was found at the scene,” Thorn said.
He said police believe that the body was brought from elsewhere to be burned in a quiet location at night.
Chroy Chongvar district police chief Siem Sothavuth said police are still investigating the case and attempting to find the suspect and identify the victim.
“I cannot conclude for certain whether the victim was male or female. Our police are still working on it,” he said.
The remains of the body were sent to Mean Chey district, waiting for relatives to collect it following identification.