A 12-year-old girl was found dead on July 29 in Kat Phlok commune of Kampong Speu province’s Baset district, with her body hung from a window bar in a purported suicide.
However, investigators who conducted a forensic examination of her body suspected foul play and are now looking into the matter more closely in an attempt to identify possible suspects.
Commune police chief Khuth Phanna told The Post that the girl, Kroeurn Sreyroth, was a resident of Veal Svang village. She was found dead by her parents on the evening of July 29 in what initially appeared to be a case of suicide.
“But on July 30, forensic specialists from the provincial police and the Child Protection Unit [CPU] conducted an examination of the girl and ruled her death a homicide,” he said.
Her parents said the girl killed herself by hanging herself from a window bar 1.2m in height from the floor. Investigators determined, however, that this would have allowed her to stand on the floor normally. Therefore the circumstances showed that she had not committed suicide, according to the CPU report seen by The Post on August 1.
“It became apparent from evidence located at the crime scene and on the deceased that this was NOT a suicide. As a result, a task force has been established to investigate the circumstances of the murder of this child,” said CPU executive director James McCabe.
The girl’s father, Chhil Nakry, told The Post that his daughter had never had any disputes with other children or neighbours and that most of their neighbours are cousins or family relations.
He said that on the evening of the incident, after planting seedlings, his wife had prepared dinner and he told his children to wash up and come and eat. But his daughter did not come to eat and then he heard her mother shout “help! Aroth hung herself!”
“I rushed into the house and saw my daughter hanging from the window bar with a pair of trousers. But her legs stood on the floor and there were cuts under her chin. Seeing this, as parents, we thought she hung herself,” he said.
Nakry called on the authorities to identify possible suspects and bring them to justice.
Baset district police chief Um Chamroeun said on August 1 that the police were working with the CPU to investigate the matter but they had no further developments in the case to report at this time.