KUANTAN: The decomposed body of a girl was found in a bush in Kampung Tanjung Medang Hilir, Pekan on Saturday (Feb 9).
The remains of the body is thought to be that of Siti Masyitah, an 11-year-old girl who was reported missing on Jan 30 after she did not return from a trip to the shops.
"The body was found lying face down in a bush about 200 metres from the main road, which was quite hidden from public view," said Pahang Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Othman Nanyan.
"The body was brought to Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital for a postmortem to identify the cause of death,” he added.
The body was found by a member of the public at 4.25pm, and has not been officially identified by the authorities.
Local media, however, reported that the mother of the missing girl has identified the body to be that of her daughter's, based on the dress she was wearing the day she disappeared.
An inspection of the surrounding areas, which includes an oil palm plantation, did not yield any weapons.
Othman said the case is currently classified as sudden death, pending the postmortem report.
BODY WAS DECAPITATED, SOME INTERNAL ORGANS REMOVED: MOTHER OF MISSING GIRL
The New Straits Times cited Zaleha Abdullah, 35, the mother of the missing girl, as saying that the body was decapitated, with some internal organs removed.
Siti had asked for some money at about 5pm on Jan 30 to purchase something from a shop but never returned home, her mother was quoted as saying.
“She said she would return home early. That was the last time I saw her. I lodged a police report at the Pekan police station on the same day," said Zaleha.
“With the help of villagers, we also mounted a search around the village every day for the past 11 days."
Siti's parents rushed to the scene after hearing about the discovery of the body.
“It broke my heart to see the mutilated body of my daughter. Her hands and legs were tied, and her head was separated from her body. Some internal organs were missing," said Zaleha.
“We searched for her in the same area 11 days ago, but she was not there.”
Zaleha told the New Straits Times that although the body was mutilated, she was able to positively identify the body based on the blue dress which Siti was wearing the day she disappeared.
“Why did they kill her? What did she do to deserve such cruelty? What was her sin?”
MAN ARRESTED TO ASSIST WITH INVESTIGATIONS
A man in his 20s has been arrested to assist with investigations, the police said.
Pekan District Police chief Supt Amran Sidek, who confirmed the arrest on Saturday, said the suspect is believed to have been the last person seen with Siti.
Amran declined to elaborate on the arrest until the postmortem report is received.
"So far, I can only confirm the suspect has been remanded for 14 days, under the Immigration Act," he said on Sunday.