Dutch Jewish Mother and 19-Month-Old Baby Murdered in Cambodia

U.N. Worker Slain in Robbery by Homeless Man


By JTA

Published May 09, 2014.
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The bodies of a Dutch Jewish woman and her 19-month-old daughter killed in Cambodia are returning to Holland for burial.

The mother, Daphna Beerdsen, was found dead with multiple stab wounds on April 28 in her apartment in Phnom Penh, according to The Cambodian Daily.

Her daughter, Dana Beerdsen, was lying near her mother’s body with critical injuries. The baby was taken to Bangkok for medical treatment but died Wednesday, a Dutch Embassy official confirmed Thursday.

Their bodies were scheduled to leave Cambodia for burial at a Jewish cemetery in Amsterdam, Rabbi Bentzion Butman of the Phnom Penh Chabad center told the daily.

On Saturday, a 35-year-old vagrant identified by the daily as Chea Pin was arrested and charged with the mother’s murder, according to The Cambodian Daily.

The Dutch broadcaster RTV NH reported that Pin wanted a bicycle that belonged to Daphna Beerdsen.

She and her husband, Joris Oele, were U.N. workers living in Cambodia, according to the daily.

Butman, the rabbi, visited the father and the daughter in Bangkok. He informed members of his community in an email that “little Dana did not survive the brutal attack” and “has returned her soul to its Creator at a hospital in Bangkok at 21:45 last night.”

Butman said that Beerdsen had been active at the Chabad center for nearly a year, The Phnompenh Post reported.

“What we have lost is incredible,” Butman wrote in an email to members of the community of 100 people, in which he recalled moments he spent with Breeman over the Seder Passover dinner. She had cut short a vacation in order to attend the dinner, he said.

“Daphna’s patience and dedication; her endless care and love; her principles and consistency were outstanding,” Butman wrote.


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