A suspect implicated in the March 2 murder of a 23-year-old casino worker in Poipet town is now in custody, police said.

Banteay Meanchey provincial police’s Serious Crime Bureau chief Phoeurng Mansing said the suspect, Roeun Thearin, 38, had been placed in pre-trial detention by an investigating judge on the afternoon of March 7.

According to deputy provincial prosecutor Teng Samai, Thearin was charged with premeditated murder under Article 200 of the Criminal Code.

Article 200 covers acts of premeditated murder and if found guilty, Thearin faces a life sentence in prison. He stands accused of raping Huon Srey and then murdering her. He then fled but the authorities apprehended him on March 4.

Mansing said on March 8 that the suspect is a resident of Tuol Pongro village in Phsar Kandal commune of Poipet town. He was sent to the provincial court on March 6 after his arrest.

“In this case, there are up to two prosecutors questioning the suspect. The court questioned him on March 6. But as the questioning was not yet completed, the court detained him at my office for one night. And then on March 7, I took him to the court,” Mansing said.

Citing confession, Mansing said Thearin had known the victim and he claimed to have been in love with her for almost five months, but she was not aware of it. The victim worked at a casino called Grand Resort in Poipet town.

Mansing said that Thearin had confessed that some time after 8am on March 2, he went up and knocked on the door of the victim’s rental house. The victim mistook Thearin for her friend knocking so she opened the door.

As soon as the door was open he grabbed her and pushed her to the floor. He tried to calm her down but she continued to struggle. The suspect then raped her and because he was afraid that she would tell the police, he then stabbed her in the throat with his knife.

After killing the victim, the suspect stole an OPPO phone, two diamond rings, a necklace, $120 and 6,000 Thai baht. He then took a taxi to Siem Reap province.

Residents didn’t discover her body until after 8pm that day and police were alerted and summoned to investigate at that time. The suspect was identified partly by tracking his movements through security cam footage and he was finally apprehended at a guesthouse in Traing village in Slakram commune of Siem Reap town on March 4.