RBP hoping arrest of Chef can lead to the rapist in Paro case

With the arrest of a Chef on 19 December, the whole nation is hopeful to get to the real culprit who raped and murdered an8 year old girl in Paro in September 2019. Royal Bhutan Police detained the Chef based on evidence where his DNA finger print matched with the DNA on a black shoe lace/drawstring lace or ligature used to strangulate the deceased.

However, the DNA of the spermatozoa (vaginal swab) found on the dead 8-year-old girl does not match with the Chef.

Chief of Police Brigadier Chimmi Dorji said that they have obtained three different DNA’s from the black shoe lace/ drawstring lace or ligature used to strangulate the deceased, whereby one DNA have matched with the Chef, one matched with the deceased DNA while the third one matched with an unknown perpetrator.

In addition, the DNA of the unknown perpetrator was also found in the vaginal swab collected from the deceased. The arrest of the chef doesn’t mean he is a criminal, he said.

Upon interrogation, the Chef only confessed to have touched one foot of the deceased to see if she was alive. The chef was amongst the search party who first spotted the body. The chef told the police that upon seeing the body, in order to resuscitate it, he touched her foot but knowing that she was dead he then did not touch any other parts of the body.

“If he has only touched the foot of the deceased, his DNA should not match with the DNA on shoelace/drawstring around her neck. He has to give the answer on that and we are investigating on the suspicion that he might have information leading to the unknown man who has raped the deceased,” he added.

This is especially relevant considering the fact that he denied to have touched the dead body of the deceased except for the lower limb, he added.

RBP said that the DNA samples collected from the victim was sent to the Forensic Laboratory in United Kingdom. He said, “We spend a huge amount and for that matter we studied, prioritize the most suspicious suspect and then sent their sample for DNA.We have 980 people in the list including non-Bhutanese.”

Further DNA analysis using advanced evaluation including further profiling of samples from black shoe lace/drawstring lace or ligature is being ordered out to further corroborate the findings as a priority to establish facts beyond reasonable doubt.

Till now five batches of reference blood samples from prime suspects have been sent for analysis. Many detained on the grounds of suspicions based on circumstantial evidence were released when the results did not record a direct match.

Meanwhile, a 32-year-old prime suspect who is the husband of the mother’s friend from Lamgong, Paro was released on surety after his DNA tested negative. However, Phuentsholing police arrested him on 30 November with a possession of drugs consignment.

Police seized 4,569 capsules of SP+, 500 tablets of N10 and 60 bottles of corex from him. Police also arrested 29-year-old man who accompanied him. The consignment was recovered from a Bolero he was driving from Kharbandhi check post. He is under detention for further investigation.

He has a past record of incest and was once convicted for illicit trafficking. Both tested positive for drugs.

Home Minister Lyonpo Sherab Gyeltshen said that with development the mentality of people also changes leading to different criminal cases. He said, “There could be such cases in the past and there could be many which would have gone unreported. So we are worried and we are trying to do every possible within our capacity.”

He said, “To avoid such crimes in future, we would create awareness through RBP and other agencies. To sustain it, thinking of an individual should be changed, from a very grassroots level.”

He also said that they would study the curriculum in education system, review and bring in changes if needed.He said, “Unemployment could be one reason and therefore we are in process of resolving employment opportunities in the country.”

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