Authorities are attempting to identify an assailant suspected of killing a trainee dentist on Monday in Ponhea Pon commune’s Boeung village in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district.
The victim worked for his uncle, a dentist, who discovered his nephew’s body and later described the attack as “an act of brutal murder”.
Ponhea Pon commune police chief Nuon Sambath on Tuesday identified the victim as Thun Ravin, 19, and said the authorities are searching for the suspect.
“The victim’s body had deep lacerations but the authorities cannot yet say for certain whether it was murder. An autopsy is currently being performed. No evidence was left at the scene but the body has cuts on it,” he said.
Moeun Sovatha, the victim’s uncle, told The Post on Tuesday from Kampong Cham province that he had rented a house to set up a dental clinic but at the time of the incident Ravin was working there alone.
Sovatha said his nephew had come to study for a dental career a year ago after failing his Grade 12 examinations.
Thun Ravin was a kind youth while studying for his new career, Sovatha said, and he had never held grudges against anyone.
He said that on Monday morning – the day of the incident – one of the dental clinic’s patients phoned Sovatha to ask him if there was a problem because the clinic’s door was not open as it usually would be.
Upon hearing this, Sovatha rode his motorbike to the clinic and went inside but didn’t immediately see anything untoward.
But when he went to look at a bed he knew his nephew used, he found the victim with serious wounds and seemingly dead.
Sovatha initially suspected Ravin had been a victim of a botched robbery but no property had been taken and the clinic only contained dental equipment and a motorbike.
“I think the killing is extremely cruel. Judging by our examination of the scars and injuries, it seems the assailant held a serious grudge against my nephew,” he said.
An inspection of the body revealed stab wounds and many deep lacerations. One wound showed an entry point on the right side of the victim’s chest that went through his back, Sovatha said.
He said Ravin’s neck had been tied with rope and three fingers on his right hand had sustained injuries and nearly been broken.
Sovatha said his nephew was the third son of four siblings who came from Kampong Cham province’s Kampong Siem district.