The stepmother of a 6-year-old boy who died on Saturday was arrested yesterday after an autopsy showed the boy had been badly beaten, an allegation to which she reportedly confessed, police said.
Choun Narin, deputy chief of Phnom Penh Municipal Police, said yesterday that Seng Srey Tin, 29, stepmother of deceased Sary Vireakbuth, confessed after the examination revealed severe exterior and interior bruises to the abdomen, and a puncture to the colon, which led to ulcers, seizures and ultimately death.
“After she confessed, we decided on [preliminary] charges of aggravated intentional violence causing death, and sent the case to the court to be subject to legal procedures,” Narin said.
Srey Tin and husband Horn Sary were first detained by authorities on Sunday after the boy’s grandmother, Kung Sina, 51, filed a complaint accusing them of having a hand in the boy’s death.
Khoun Yano, chief of police in Choeung Ek commune, where the family lived, said that the grandmother suspected wrongdoing after seeing the bruising on the boy’s body.
Before receiving the results of the examination, the parents had claimed that Vireakbuth had been ill with colic, and had been vomiting, and had been taken to see a doctor, Yano said.
Upon returning home, the symptoms suddenly worsened, and the boy died of a seizure.
However, after being confronted with the results of the autopsy, he added, Srey Tin admitted to having beaten the boy, but said she had no intention of killing him.
The husband was released yesterday. The boy’s body was turned over to his grandmother, who will prepare a traditional funeral for him.