KUALA LUMPUR - Faint cries for help reported by residents at the Seri Selangor flats here three days ago could have come from the elevator shaft, where the body of S. Savariamal has been found.
Her nephew R. Kumar, 42, said the family noticed that the 62-year-old had been missing since Monday.
"We thought she had gone to visit her son in Penang. Neighbours informed the family that cries for help could be heard earlier in the week but nobody could pinpoint where they were coming from," he said when met here yesterday.
The decomposed body of the widow, who had lived alone in her unit on the top floor of the 16-storey flat for three months after moving from her son's home in Penang, was discovered by firemen from the Hang Tuah station.
A resident had complained of a stench coming from the elevators at 7pm on Thursday.
Savariamal's relatives, who lived in an adjacent block, rushed to the scene after a neighbour told them that the body of a woman had been found and identified her at 10.25pm.
Her sisters were earlier seen outside the lift lobby trying to reach her by telephone.
Savariamal was the second of four sisters and had two sons, Prakash, 30, and Thivagaran, 27.
Police have classified the case as sudden death pending post-mortem results.
Meanwhile, a resident, Zaid Sakadi, 31, said the elevator had jammed on Monday morning.
"Most of us noticed the smell but we thought that it was either from the garbage or a dead rat," said Zaid who lives on the seventh floor.
He also said that repairmen had opened the stuck elevator earlier in the week but did not find anything inside.
Zaid said the elevators in the block frequently jammed and suspected that Savariamal might have slipped into the shaft when she tried to climb out of the elevator that had descended halfway.
City Hall housing officers declined comment, saying they were investigating the incident.
Savariamal was cremated at the Cheras crematorium yesterday.