More than 100 Battambang police officers are searching for a young woman and a man suspected of involvement in her disappearance from a village in Sangke district’s O’Dambang I commune on Tuesday.
Sangke district acting police chief Som Sovann said 18-year-old Chham Sreyroth, disappeared from Wat Tamim village at about 9pm.
“According to the girl’s mother, her daughter was dragged by a man from the house into the Stung Sangke river just as she was about to go to bed,” he said.
Authorities found a fishing net, shorts and shoes at the place where her mother claimed that the suspect dragged her into the water, Sovann added.
Fearing the girl had drowned, police searched the river, but found nothing, and by Wednesday afternoon concluded she may have eloped with a man from the village.
“There were two men living in the village who had professed their love for Sreyroth, according to her mother,” Sovann said.
Battambang town police chief Yem Vichet said his forces had identified the suspect who had fled into a nearby forest, which officers had surrounded.
The missing girl’s brother, Chham Thy, 29, claimed the suspect was a fisherman who was married to a woman who was about to give birth, but denied he was having an affair with Sreyroth.
“My sister does not have a boyfriend, and the suspect also has a wife,” he said.