A former finalist on The Voice Cambodia was shot dead by her estranged husband at a beauty clinic in an upscale neighbourhood of Phnom Penh yesterday, shortly before the man turned the gun on himself.
Phnom Penh Deputy Police Chief Song Ly declined to give details about the murder-suicide, saying only that police “are busy investigating”.
But a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that 23-year-old San Sreylai, a finalist last year on the second season of the popular singing competition, was shot by her estranged husband – 53-year-old customs official Chey Rin – around 4pm yesterday at the Vita Longa Clinic on Street 360 near Boeung Keng Kang market.
Security camera footage circulating on social media shows Sreylai talking to Rin in the entryway of the clinic and turning away before he shoots her several times, then shoots himself in the head.
A security guard across the street who gave only his first name, Reach, said he heard three to four gunshots and ran outside to find the couple’s bodies in the entryway of the clinic.
Family and friends spoke of a tumultuous relationship in which Rin was often an aggressor. Sreylai’s sister, San Kongkea, said in an interview with a local television station that her sister asked Rin for a divorce years ago but that he had refused. According to Kongkea, the couple has two young sons.
“They separated when she entered The Voice Cambodia – the relationship become worse and worse because he is a jealous guy,” Kongkea told TVFB.
A friend outside the crime scene who identified himself only by his first name, Dara, said Sreylai was a friendly person who had often complained about the way her husband treated her.
“The husband did not want Sreylai to enter singing competitions,” he said. “And since she became a part of The Voice, the husband kept quarrelling with her. Even though they already separated, he still kept bothering her.”
Since competing on The Voice, Sreylai had been making music under the record label and production company Hang Meas.
This is the second high-profile murder-suicide this year. In August, police official Khieu Konel – the assistant to Phnom Penh’s top cop and nephew of Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak – shot and killed his wife before killing himself.
Additional reporting by Vandy Muong