The killing of a Palm Springs woman has been listed as one of the most bizarre crimes to strike Cambodia in the past year.
Katherine Ann “K.G.” Grgich, a 55 year old massage therapist who lived at the Palm Springs Country Club, was found dead on the Cambodian island of Koh Rong on Oct. 1.
Grgich had gone missing a few days beforehand, leaving her luggage in her hotel room without explanation. Her body was found along a beaten trail that snaked through the jungle close to her resort, launching a police investigation.
On Monday, The Phnom Phenh Post, one of Cambodia’s primary English-speaking newspapers, published a story recapping the “brutal and bizarre” crime that plagued the country in 2013. The story recapped about a dozen crimes, including Grgich’s killing.
From The Phnom Phenh Post: “Katherine Ann Grgich, a 55-year-old American, disappeared on September 28. Two days later, her body was found three kilometres away from the guesthouse she was staying in on Koh Rong, off Sihanoukville. Nearly a month later, police declared it a murder, though no arrests have been made.”
Police initially said Grgich’s death was natural, and her body was quickly cremated. However, after her parents insisted investigators dig deeper, police revealed they had found evidence of a crime – Grgich had cuts on the back of her head, as if she had been attacked from behind.
Cambodian law enforcement began searching for a suspect late October, but have not released the identity of the suspected killer. Two months have passed without an arrest.
Grgich’s family published an obituary for their lost loved one in the Desert Sun on Dec. 22.
“She had a vibrant soul and infectious laugh that touched everyone’s lives, including strangers; people were drawn in,” the obit said. “We know that K.G. is now bodysurfing the galaxies so when you look up in the sky think of her. She rests in the eternal peace that she sought on her spiritual journey.
Grgich worked as a part-time masseuse at Salon 119 & Day Spa in Palm Springs. She had more than 30 years of massage experience, working previously in Hawaii and Hollywood, and was a master of reiki, a Japanese relaxation technique that promotes healing.
The salon and spa in Palm Springs had expected Grgich to return to work in early October. When she never returned, the spa staff assumed Grgich had abandoned her job, unaware of her true fate.