Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two children killed, mother tries suicide

Two children killed, mother tries suicide

Two children killed, mother tries suicide

Two young children were allegedly poisoned and killed by their mother in an attempted murder-suicide at a Kampot guesthouse on Tuesday.

Pak Sokheng, 27, remains under police watch at Kampot Provincial Hospital after she allegedly fatally poisoned her two sons, Heal Sovanami, aged 6, and Heal Kdan, aged 4.

When questioned about the deaths of her children, Sokheng allegedly told police she was “angry” with her husband for taking a “second wife”, according to Keo Yon, deputy chief of Angkor Chey district police.

Sokheng left her home in Takeo’s Traing district on Tuesday and rented a room at a guesthouse in Kampot, Yon said. She allegedly purchased several pills from a local pharmacy, which she mixed into food for herself and her children, though she survived the suicide attempt.

Yon was unsure what drug was used to poison the boys.

“Our police are now guarding the hospital because she is receiving treatment there. We will bring her to the provincial police station to be questioned about the murder,” Yon said.

While Yon said the three were found on the bed after a guesthouse cleaner entered the room, Sou Born, chief of Phnom Kong commune, where they lived, said Sokheng allegedly made a chilling phone call to her husband, in which “she told the husband that she had killed the children and herself”, prompting the man to rush to the guesthouse and call for help.

Born also said the suspect had written an apology note before her attempted suicide.

Accounts also varied as to whether the couple had divorced, or whether Sokheng had just discovered the alleged affair.

The practice of men taking multiple wives is common in Cambodian culture – a double-standard that often has a detrimental effect on women, leaving them financially vulnerable or open to abuse due to stigma, among other things.

Sokheng’s husband briefly visited the hospital and is not being treated as a suspect by police, Yon said.

The double homicide brings the total count of child murders in Cambodia to six so far this year, according to James McCabe, head of the Child Protection Unit.

“Unfortunately this is the second situation [where] we’ve had a mother [allegedly] murder their child this month alone,” McCabe said.

“It hasn’t been a good start to the year as far as homicides and rapes go,” he added, saying the NGO had investigated 30 serious crimes against children so far this month – almost one a day.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the