SINGAPORE: A man was charged on Thursday (Dec 17) with the murder of a 19-year-old woman, 13 years after she was reported missing by her mother.
Ahmad Danial Mohamed Rafa’ee, 35, appeared in court via video-link to receive the capital charge, with dishevelled hair and a piece of paper pasted on his glasses. He was arrested two days before on fresh investigation leads.
Ahmad Danial is accused of committing murder by causing the death of Ms Felicia Teo Wei Ling between 1.39am and 7.20am in a flat on the 10th floor of Block 19, Marine Terrace, on Jun 30, 2007.
The act causing her death was not specified in the charge sheet. He allegedly murdered Ms Teo with suspected accomplice Ragil Putra Setia Sukmarahjana, now 32.
Mr Ragil is currently not in Singapore and police are trying to locate him, the police said in a news release on Thursday.
Ms Teo, who would have been 32 this year, was reported missing on Jul 3, 2007 by her mother.
She could not be found despite extensive investigations at the time, but the police said that she was last seen at the suspected accomplice's home in Marine Terrace.
Police interviewed both men, as they were believed to have last seen Ms Teo in the flat.
However, the two men maintained that Ms Teo had left the flat in the wee hours of Jun 30, 2007, of her own accord.
Nothing incriminating was found after a search of the unit and a check on closed-circuit television footage in the area.
TODAY reported in 2007 that Ms Teo was studying for a diploma in fine arts at the Lasalle College of the Arts.
The disappearance of the teenager set off a search by almost 200 people from her circle of friends and family, who distributed flyers around Singapore in a bid to locate her, the TODAY report said then.
As there were no facts at the time to link the two men to Ms Teo’s disappearance, it was classified as a missing persons case and a police gazette was issued to find her.
The police explained in their news release that unsolved missing person reports are regularly reviewed for further leads.
The reviews uncovered no new leads until the case was referred to the Criminal Investigation Department after the latest review in July this year as part of police processes for long-standing unsolved missing person cases.
Fresh leads were found when investigators traced the belongings believed to be in Ms Teo’s possession when she was reported missing.
Police linked one of her belongings to Ahmad Danial. They are continuing their search for Ms Teo’s remains.
Preliminary investigations revealed that she had died before the report was lodged in early July 2007, and that the two men had allegedly disposed of her body.
Ahmad Danial was remanded for investigations and will return to court next week. The police prosecutor said Ahmad Danial is "on medical leave". He listened to his charge without any expression.
The penalty for murder is death.