Sutton family seeks answers over mysterious Cambodian death
Mystery surrounds the sudden death of a father-of-two feared murdered in Cambodia.
The body of John Connell, 43, of Woodville House, Sutton, was found wrapped in a sheet of plastic in a guest house in the Daun Penh District of Phnom Penh on August 11 after staff complained about a smell coming from the room.
According to Cambodian press, police have charged his room mate, a 40-year-old Spanish man , with murder, after he reportedly slept with the body for up to two weeks before checking out of the guest house.
But Mr Connell's family remain in the dark about the death.
The Foreign Office is providing consular assistance but Mr Connell's brother, Tim Connell, says the only detailed information he is getting about what happened is through reading Cambodian newspapers.
Wandsworth and Merton Coroners' office have told him a Spanish national is currently in prison in connection to the death, and The Foreign and Commonwealth office is trying to find out exactly what the charges are.
He said: "The whole thing is like something out of a horror movie. British police came to my door on the day he was found and told me it could be suicide. I nearly fainted. Our mother died last year and I know John took it particularly hard and he had a few drug issues.
"I thought his death might be drug related, but now I'm reading that he could have been beaten to death, and that police have charged someone with murder, but nobody has told me that. I'm being kept completely in the dark and I need to know how my brother died."
A police report of the incident was sent to Mr Connell but entirely in Khmer, the first language of Cambodia. He is still waiting for an official translation.
The Cambodia Daily, an English language newspaper, has claimed the report includes a witness statement saying Mr Connell had been beaten to death four days prior to the discovery of the body.
Despite the lack of information coming from official channels, Tim Connell believes money could have been involved, as following the death of their mother, John inherited a "considerable sum" of money.
The electrician had been travelling in South East Asia for several months with some of the money to try and get over the death of his mother.
His brother has now written to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to express his dismay at its claim he was penniless.
He wrote: "John had inherited a considerable amount of money and would have been in Cambodia with access to this. I do not know whether the Cambodian Police are aware of this but suggest they should be informed. I strongly suspect this is the link to his demise or a reason to murder someone."
Mr Connell said he is tired of "playing Inspector Morse" and just wants answers. John Connell's body was flown back to the UK last week. He has now been formally identified by finger prints and is due to be released to the family in the coming days.
His two teenage children live with their mother in Surrey.
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth office, said: "We were made aware of the death of a British national, John Peter Connell, in Cambodia on August 11.
"We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time."
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