Police are searching for the body of a Kandal man who allegedly killed his former partner with a machete outside a high school before jumping off a bridge in a suspected suicide attempt.
Ra Chairath, 21, killed his former partner, Ton Srey Noy, 20, on Thursday afternoon, according to Kandal Provincial Police Chief Eav Chamroeun. Authorities said he left a suicide video on Facebook.
“After the killing, the suspect fled with his motorbike up over the Tsubasa Bridge [Neak Loeung Bridge]. He jumped off the motorbike and jumped into the river,” Chamroeun wrote on Facebook.
“The suspect has not floated up so far, and the police were surrounding the place to arrest the suspect and bring him to face justice according to law.”
Deputy Provincial Police Chief Roeun Nara said Chairath attacked Srey Noy after concealing himself near the Kampong Chamlong secondary school in Prek Tomleab commune, where she regularly walked on her way home. She died almost instantly at the scene.
“He struck her three times with a machete from the front, on the head, near the ear, and on the neck,” Nara said. “He planned it since the morning by hiding himself there.”
Nara said the pair were not officially married due to Srey Noy’s age at the time they began living together several years ago.
They separated two months ago after visiting their village chief, but during Khmer New Year, Chairath accused Srey Noy of taking up with another man. Nara identified “jealousy” as the motive for murder.
Nara said Chairath filmed a “live” video of himself before leaping from the bridge, although no trace of it could be found on Facebook on Friday.
On his Facebook page, the suspect posted a status 20 minutes after the murder: “Finally, even though we were not born on the same day, we died on the same day. I love you Oun A Noy”.
Thida Khus, executive director of women’s rights group Silaka, said the alleged perpetrator’s behaviour was possessive and dangerous, not loving.
“It’s not love. If you love, you would want to have your partner be happy and safe,” she said. “It’s controlling, possessive and seeing her as an object … He doesn’t really look at her as a human being.”
“It is a misplaced value on his rights as a man and a husband.”
Additional reporting by Erin Handley