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Shocking and brutal case of murder-suicide hits Kampong Chhnang

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A man swallowed poison and then hung himself after killing his 14-year-old stepdaughter under shocking circumstances on January 2 in Ta Ches commune’s Thlok Yol village of Kampong Chhnang province’s Kampong Tralach district, according to local police. POLICE

Shocking and brutal case of murder-suicide hits Kampong Chhnang

A man swallowed poison and then hung himself after killing his 14-year-old stepdaughter under shocking circumstances. The events in question occurred around 7am on January 2 in Ta Ches commune’s Thlok Yol village of Kampong Chhnang province’s Kampong Tralach district, according to local police.

District governor Lorn Sinath told The Post on January 3 that police believed the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide following an attempted rape by Chreung Phally, 36, of his 14-year-old stepdaughter Nang Srey Leak.

According to police, Leak was attacked so violently by Phally her head was almost severed from her body and one of her hands was missing having been severed at the wrist.

“Based on the investigation at the scene, we made a preliminary conclusion that this tragedy arose from the stepfather attempting to rape his stepdaughter. The bodies were found inside the home with the door locked from the inside,” he said.

According to Sinath, when villagers and police broke down the door they found a 4-year-old boy who was alive and unharmed while Phally was hanging by his neck from a wire attached to the rafters of the house. Officers observed that Phally was bubbling at the mouth in a manner indicative of poisoning and they subsequently found a bottle of poison lying on the bed.

Leak’s body was laid out on the bed with her head almost removed from her body and one of her hands severed at the wrist. Police found a machete stained with blood nearby.

After forensic examinations the police handed over the bodies to their relatives for a traditional funeral ceremony and Phally’s four-year-old biological son was placed with one of Leak’s aunts as a temporary caregiver while the matter is being decided.

Regarding the murder and suicide, Thlok village chief Hor Mach told The Post that three or four days prior to the incident there were rumours being spread by children in the village about Phally saying that he was a drug user and that he didn’t allow his stepdaughter Leak to go anywhere or talk to any of the village boys including her own cousins.

“Suspicions fell on the stepfather regarding his treatment of his stepdaughter after his wife died in early December, 2021, and then Leak’s biological father died seven days ago,” Mach said.

However, Lek Reth, the victim’s aunt, told The Post that – contrary to village gossip – while the suspect liked to smoke cigarettes he never smoked any illegal drugs to her knowledge and as for the victim, her niece, she said that she had actually stayed at her house for two nights and went out on New Year’s Eve with her children, who were her relatives.

“I do not know if she asked her stepfather or not, but she came to sleep at my house for two nights on the night of December 31, 2021, and the night of January 1,” she said. “I don’t know the reasons why this happened for certain, but I do feel the police detectives are probably correct in most of their conclusions.”

She said that if the tragedy unfolded as the police surmised then she could only pray that all traces of the scandal melted in the flames and were carried away by the smoke and forgotten when their bodies were cremated on the morning of January 3.

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