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Mother beheaded to ‘exorcise ghost’

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A man was arrested on Saturday for murdering his mother in Por Sen Chey district’s Chaom Chao II commune. Police

Mother beheaded to ‘exorcise ghost’

Police on Sunday sent a man with suspected mental problems to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court after he was arrested on Saturday for murdering his mother in Por Sen Chey district’s Chaom Chao II commune.

Deputy district police chief Chea Sovann identified the suspect as Eam Samnang, 32, and the victim as 65-year-old Hak Sokha. They had lived together in a rented room in the commune.

Sovann said the suspect has a cruel personality and if he was kept at the district police office, he could commit suicide.

The exact time of the murder is unknown but on Saturday morning, people renting a room nearby gathered at the scene and reported it to police. Experts immediately went to the scene to investigate and started searching for the suspect.

Police then received a report about a man walking naked behind the International University in Sen Sok district. When authorities reached him, the suspect allegedly expressed intent to commit suicide, but police stopped him. After questioning, he admitted to using a cleaver to slit his mother’s throat because he believed a ghost had entered her body.

Sovann said Sokha’s head was entirely separated from her body. At the crime scene, police also found a letter from the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital related to Samnang’s suspected mental problem.

“It is hard for us to say if the suspect has a mental problem. He has a confirmation letter from hospital, but it is weird that a company accepted him to work and gave him a monthly salary of $100. The work card is valid until 2021,” he said.

Doctor Nong Sovanrath, who performed the autopsy, said there was a dark bruise on Sokha’s forehead. He said he suspected that before killing his mother, Samnang knocked her unconscious.

Sovanrath said he does not know if Samnang has a mental problem.

But citing the suspect’s relatives, he said the man is insane.

Neighbours said that one day before the incident, they saw Samnang walking naked and his mother called him to enter their rented room. A security camera shows at about 8:40pm, Samnang escaped through a window naked.

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