Court Gavel

A Cambodian farmer and his son have been charged with the beheading murders of a woman and her 6-year-old granddaughter whose bodies were found in a forest, authorities said on Friday.

The Kampong Cham Provincial Court charged the two men with murder with aggravating circumstances on Thursday, said James McCabe, operations director of the Child Protection Unit (CPU), a police division supported by the non-governmental Cambodian Children’s Fund.

“The accused father, who is in his 60s, and the 35-year-old son were known to the victims and they lived in the same commune,” McCabe told dpa.

Report says they face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The headless bodies of the 65-year-old woman and her granddaughter were found in a forest about 350 metres from their home in the central province of Kampong Cham on April 3.

McCabe said they had been reported missing about 24 hours prior.

Recently, McCabe said four individuals were answering questions from a task force comprised of the CPU, national and local police officers and a visiting Australian forensic pathologist.

“The father and son, who farm cashews and bananas in the area, were two of the four people assisting the police with their inquiries,” McCabe added.

He did not share a motive or if police were seeking additional suspects.

McCabe was asked whether the victims’ heads had been found, said: “The investigation is ongoing in regards to evidence gathering.”

The accused were being held in the provincial prison.