Man confesses to Cambodia murder of Dutch woman

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Police in Cambodia say they have arrested a man in relation to the murder of Daphna Beerdsen who was found dead on Monday. The 32-year old man is said to have confessed, a police spokesperson reports to the Phnom Penh Post.

According to the police spokesperson, the man stabbed Beerdsen with a screwdriver after she called for help because the man wanted to steal her bicycle. The stab wounds were fatal.

The suspect was arrested near the Royal Palace in the Cambodian capital on Tuesday night around 9 p.m. "He has confessed to the murder" a spokesperson of the national police tells the newspaper. "He also had a bag with him of the Dutch victim with some personal items in it, including her identity documents."

Daphna Beerdsen, from Alkmaar, was working as a consultant for United Nations Habitat. She was living in a suburb of Phnom Penh with her 34-year old husband Joris Oele and their 18-month old baby Dana.

Beerdsen's young daughter was also harmed in the brutal attack. She has serious head injuries and was transferred to the Bangkok General Hospital in Thailand on Tuesday. Doctors there have since performed a brain surgery on Dana, who had not been stabbed, but suffered a blunt trauma injury.

“The operation this morning went well. They tried to stop the bleeding," an unnamed hospital source told the Phnom Penh Post. "They tried to stabilize her during the day, tried to reduce the swelling around her brain using various methods."

The baby was still reportedly in critical condition after the surgery, with only limited brain activity. Her father, 34-year-old Joris Oele is by her side at the hospital.