Police rescue infant after 48-hour search

Cambodian National Police yesterday found a one-month-old girl who was kidnapped on Monday, after a male suspect brutally murdered her father, a police official said yesterday evening.

Following an approximately 48-hour search over five provinces with the help of more than 150 officers, authorities found infant Porn Hamma at 5:30pm yesterday in the custody of a female suspect, 24, in Svay Rieng province, said James McCabe, manager of operations at the Phnom Penh-based Child Protection Unit.

The healthy child was transported by ambulance back to her mother, McCabe said.

“A female has been arrested in Svay Rieng in possession of the child,” McCabe said. “Police are still inquiring in regards to the homicide of the child’s father.”

On Monday morning, a 33-year-old man allegedly smashed the head of Pin Sokpal, 34, with what Sihanoukville provincial police chief Kol Phally identified as a garden hoe, as he slept on a bed outside his house with his daughter.

The multi-police department search began in Sihanoukville and went across Kampot province, Phnom Penh, Kandal province and finally Svay Rieng, where they found Hamma, McCabe said. Police brought the female suspect back to Preah Sihanouk province’s police headquarters last night for questioning.

An “outstanding cooperation between police departments and the Ministry of Interior” contributed greatly to the success of the search, which prioritised the baby’s safety over all else, McCabe said.