Woman detained for murder of hairdresser over unpaid $1K debt

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A woman was arrested for killing and cutting off her friend’s body into parts in Phnom Penh on June 11, 2019. Police

A woman has been held in connection with the murder of a 40-year-old widow. The victim’s daughter claims the motive was the suspect’s unpaid four million riel ($1,000) debt to her mother.

The 17-year-old girl, Pich Sievmey, said her mother, Koem Yaneang, a hairdresser at the Phsar Chas market, received a call from the suspect on June 2, requesting Yaneang to visit the suspect’s house in the vicinity of Phsar Kandal.

Yaneang persuaded an apprentice hairdresser to accompany her until the evening when she returned home with one of the suspect’s daughters.

On June 3 at 10am, Yaneang rode a motorbike to take the daughter back to the suspect. It was the last time anyone saw Yaneang, said Sievmey.

After her mother’s disappearance, Sievmey filed a complaint at the Chey Chumneah commune police station in Daun Penh district.

Sievmey took the search for her mother to social media until authorities arrested the suspect.

Sievmey said Yaneang had worked as a hairdresser at Phsar Chas for seven or eight years and had known the suspect for more than two years. During the course of their friendship, the suspect had borrowed more than four million riel.

“That woman has owed my mother the money for more than two years. These days it was just my mum and me living together, as my dad passed away 10 years ago. Now my mum has died, too,” she said.

Neither Military Police spokesman Eng Hy nor Chey Chumneah commune police chief Thon Kaony could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Authorities arrested the suspect on Monday. On Tuesday morning, Military Police forces took her to the crime scene for a re-enactment.

Describing the gory crime scene, a Military Police official who asked not to be named, said Yaneang had had her body cut up into pieces. Her arms, legs and head had been hacked off. Her abdomen had been sliced open and her ribs chopped into pieces.

Her dismembered body was stuffed into a black plastic bag and was thrown on the bank of the Tonle Sap river along Sisowath Quay in Daun Penh district.