Preah Vihear Provincial Criminal Police are hunting down a man for his involvement in the murder of a scrap metal scavenger in Chheanmok commune’s Moha Phal village of Preah Vihear province’s Tbeng Meanchey district on May 8.

Provincial deputy police chief in charge of serious crimes Seng Phally said on May 10 that investigators have already discovered the identity of the suspect.

“According to a preliminary district police report, the killing was fuelled by jealousy, but we will continue to investigate. Authorities are working hard on this case,” he said.

District police chief Som Lumtourn said on May 10 that both the suspect, Mom Tha, 30, and the deceased, 25-year-old Tuy Ter, lived in the village where the murder took place.

He said Ter was on his usual round to buy and collect scrap metal on May 8. At around noon, he stopped to take a rest under a tree near the suspect’s home.

Tha then fired his slingshot at Ter but missed.

“The scavenger did not know that the suspect had shot at him and did not realise his bad intentions – he did not even know the suspect,” he said.

According to Lumtourn, because of the miss, the suspect became enraged, produced a machete and began chasing Ter. Out of fears for his safety, Terran but was cut in the process.

He tried to run into the nearby house of a villager, but was caught by the suspect. The woman who owned the house shouted at the suspect to stop but couldn’t, he said.

The scavenger was killed by a barrage of blows to the head and shoulders.

Villagers called the commune police, who arrived at the scene about five minutes later. At the scene, the police examined the body and found that Ter died from several cuts to his head and shoulders.

After the suspect escaped, police called his wife in for questioning. The woman claimed that she did not know the scavenger and had never spoken to him, although her husband had often accused her of having an affair with him.