Police investigating the possible murder of a toddler in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, last week say witness overheard a woman threatening to kill a boy of similar age several days before the body was found.
The yet to be unidentified toddler, who police estimate was about 2 years-old was found face dowm in a pond with strangulation wounds in Chroy Changva district’s Bak Khengon Friday morning, June 3.
Bun Kimly, a penal police officer from Bakheng commune where the boy was found, said staff at Phnom Penh Referral Hospital found bruises on the neck of the boy, whose parents have not come forward.
A joint task force has been set up by the National Police and the Child Protection Unit (CPU) to investigate the death. CPU director James McCabe said this is the first time since the NGO began operating that no parent or caregiver had come forward to claim a murdered child as their own.
McCabe said the boy was found wearing red, green, yellow and blue pyjamas with cartoon bears on them. He added that it is believed the murder took place on June 1, two days prior to the boy’s discovery by two neighbourhood children.
Penal police officer Kimly said witnesses reported seeing a mentally unstable woman who said she was from Kampot carrying the boy to the pond.
“If you won’t come to meet me and our son, I will kill the child.” the woman was heard yelling, Commune police chief Mean Thorn said.
The woman also told locals that she had travelled to Phnom Penh from Kampot province in search of her husband who she suspected of having an affair but left in a hurry when she could not locate him.
“I know my husband has a girlfriend in Bak Kheng. That’s why I came looking for him here, but I don’t know where he is staying.” the woman said, according to Thorn.