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Suspect Sought in 2010 Death of Frenchman and Four Children

Police officials collect skulls and bones thought to be of Laurent Valier and his children in Kampong Speu province January 15, 2012, file photo.
PHNOM PENH - Authorities in Kampong Speu province say they are issuing a summons for a suspect in the mysterious death of a Frenchman and his four children in 2010.

The body of Laurant Valier and his children—two of them stuffed in suitcases—were found in vehicle in a pond on the man’s property, leading to an investigation that had until recently been inconclusive.

The indication of a murder suspect reverses the initial thinking of police, that Valier had committed a murder-suicide.

“The court is not yet finished with the case,” Kampong Speu investigating judge Chhem Rith told VOA Khmer Monday. “We will continue to investigate until we find justice for the French man and his four children.”

Authorities are not releasing the name of the suspect.

A French Embassy statement said cooperation between authorities and advanced forensics had led to the new development. “This has led to very significant breakthroughs, which are now ruling out the possibility of a suicide,” the Embassy said.

Tit Chhourn, Valier’s father-in-law, welcomed the new development, saying he did not think it possible Valier had killed himself or his children.