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Man, 80, arrested over murder of daughter-in-law

Madam Ong Guat Heng’s blood-drenched body was discovered in her Tampines flat shortly after 10am on Thursday.

SINGAPORE: A chilling murder involving an 80-year-old suspect – one of the oldest Singapore has seen – and the 54-year-old daughter-in-law he lives with rocked the Tampines Street 43 neighbourhood on Thursday (Aug 21).

When Madam Ong Guat Heng’s daughter discovered her mother’s blood-drenched body at home shortly after 10am on Thursday, the suspected assailant, her grandfather, was believed to be heading towards Bedok North Neighbourhood Police Centre, where he was arrested.

Soon after that, Criminal Investigation Department officers attending to the case at a third-floor corner unit at Block 440 rummaged through the rubbish chute and fished out a black metal rod, measuring about 1m-long and which had multiple dents on it. The officers also retrieved a blood-stained T-shirt and a handkerchief.

As investigators swarmed around the block for about 11 hours on Thursday, neighbours and passers-by gathered around the cordon the police had set up, with some snapping pictures with their mobile phones.

At about noon, Mdm Ong’s family members had also gathered outside her unit and started chanting Buddhist prayers. Shaken by what had happened, a few family members got worked up when the media approached them and tried taking pictures.

Later in the day, two of Mdm Ong’s 12 siblings spoke to reporters. One of her brothers said she has a son and two daughters who are in their 20s and married. Neighbours said both daughters had moved out and Mdm Ong, her husband, their son and her father-in-law live in the five-room unit.

Mdm Ong’s eldest sister said one of the daughters found her in a pool of blood. When asked by reporters about Mdm Ong’s relationship with her father-in-law, she said it was unavoidable that quarrels would happen once in a while.

One of their neighbours, who declined to be named, said he saw the elderly man – described as tall and skinny – carrying a black rod measuring about 1m-long at about 9am on Thursday, when he was on his way to buy breakfast.

The neighbour, who said he has known the family for more than a decade, added: “I wanted to say ‘Hi’, but he looked nervous.” He also said his sister had heard a quarrel in Mdm Ong’s unit on Wednesday night. “Argue about what; I don’t know,” he added.

After he returned to his home, the neighbour said he heard someone screaming at around 9.30am to 10am. Another resident at the block, who wished to be known only as Mdm Siti, said her maid had also heard screams at about 8.30am but did not think much about it.

Neighbours interviewed described Mdm Ong, whom they knew as Jenny, as a cheerful, nice and pretty woman whose weekend routine was to dress up and go for karaoke. Mr Ng Eng Chai, 58, who is a newspaper vendor in the neighbourhood, described Mdm Ong’s father-in-law as tall and skinny.

A 24-year-old hawker at a coffee shop in the neighbourhood added that the elderly man is a regular patron who usually turns up at about 6am and leaves only at about 3pm to 4pm. “He will sit at the same table, watching TV,” he added.

The 80-year-old man will be charged in court on Friday.

(Photo: Police investigators retrieved a metal rod as evidence from a refuse bin)

(Photo: Investigators also retrieved a stained shirt from a refuse bin)

(Photo: A square piece of fabric was also recovered as evidence)

(Photo: Unidentified mourners praying at the block of flats where the body was found)

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