A 32-year-old man has been arrested for beheading his mother because he believed she had been possessed by a ghost.
The suspected killer, identified as Eam Samnang, was photographed in custody when he was held on charges of killing his 65-year-old mum in the commune of Chaom Chao II in the district of Pou Senchey in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh on 29th August.
Police spokesperson Chea Sovann said that the suspect lived with his mother, identified as Hak Sokha, in a rented room in the commune.
The murder took place on Saturday, and local residents called police who found the suspect walking naked behind the International University building in the district of Sen Sok.
When the police approached the man, he allegedly claimed that he would kill himself, but officers managed to disarm and restrain him.
During questioning, the 32-year-old man reportedly admitted to slitting his mother’s throat with a cleaver because he thought a ghost had entered her body and possessed her.
Sovann said the victim’s head was completely separated from her body.
At the scene, officers found a letter from the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital concerning the suspect’s mental health issues.
Sovann said: “It is hard for us to say if the suspect has a mental problem. He has a confirmation letter from hospital, but it is strange that a company accepted him for work and gave him a monthly salary of 100 USD (75 GBP). The work card is valid until 2021.”
Doctor Nong Sovanrath, who performed the autopsy, said the mother had a dark bruise on her forehead that suggests Samnang knocked her out before allegedly decapitating her.
Meanwhile, neighbours claimed that they saw the suspect walking around the area naked one day before his mother’s death.
They said Sokha had bought her son into their rented room shortly before the attack took place. A CCTV camera reportedly filmed him leaving the property through a window while naked at around 8.40pm.
The investigation continues.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.