|Maid to be charged for murder of 12-year-old girl
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By Vivien Chan
HER small frame lay lifeless and bloodied on the ground in front of the rubbish collection area.
The little pyjama-clad girl had no identity documents on her, so police officers had to knock on doors in the Hougang HDB block yesterday morning asking if families were missing any children at home.
"Do you have children and are they home?" they asked.
While they were doing so, the little girl's mother was frantically doing the same.
Having discovered her 12-year-old daughter missing, she had approached a neighbour's son to ask him if he had seen her.
She was particularly worried as her daughter, Linda Lee,was physically disabled and had low IQ.
The girl, who could not walk on her own and could hardly speak, attended a special school nearby.
Moments later, when the woman saw police officers at her block, she rushed to them for help in finding her daughter.
That's when they told her they had found a body at the bottom of the block, and led her to identify it.
The woman's worst fears were confirmed when she peeled back the sheet covering the girl's body and caught sight of the familiar white pyjamas belonging to her daughter.
It was her darling.
Her body was lying on its side on the ground. How did she end up there? What happened?
Police said they received a call at 6.05am informing them that a young girl was found dead at the foot of Block 573 at Hougang Street 51.
The girl was pronounced dead 15 minutes later.
Police has classified the case as murder.
Early yesterday afternoon, police officers were seen leading the girl's maid away into a police van.
She is believed to be a new maid.
Madam Lim Soh Keng, 41, who lives on the same fourth storey as the Lees, said that the Lees "adored" their only child even though she had special needs.
They took her out regularly and bought her many things as "their house is full of toys".
Madam Lim said: "It's really so sad, the girl had just learnt how to walk about two years ago."
Even so, she could not walk without support.
The cheerful girl, who often greeted Madam Lim as "aunty" with a big smile, also loved holding hands.
"Whenever I walked by her, she would reach out and hold my hand. I've watched her grow, and I was so happy for her because she improved so much," said Madam Lim.
According to her, Linda, who had shoulder-length hair, could manage only simple words like "papa", "mama", "aunty", "hi" and "bye".
Another neighbour from the same block, who wanted to be known only as Mr Vijay, 47, said: "Although (Linda) was not normal, she was pretty. It's very sad."
When Madam Lim, a housewife, walked by the Lee's unit yesterday while police officers were inside, she said she noticed the family's Indonesian maid, dressed in T-shirt and shorts, sitting near the door of the four-room flat.
"She looked normal," she said.
Madam Lim said that the maid started working for the Lees' barely a month ago.
She thought she was "not as friendly" as the previous maid, but Madam Lim thought it was because she was new and did not know anyone else.
The previous maid had worked about three years with the Lees, she said.
She added: "The previous maid was very friendly and she always said 'hi' to neighbours.
"She also loved (Linda). She would carry her everywhere."
Linda's paternal grandmother, Madam Koh Lee Eng, in her 70s, said that she last saw her granddaughter on Sunday, when the family last had dinner together.
Madam Koh, a food stall owner, said that she visited Linda every Sunday as it was her day off.
"She was a very good girl," she said in Mandarin.
She added that her son had called early yesterday morning and said through tears that her grandchild was dead.
Shocked, both grandparents rushed down to the Hougang flat.
"I am very confused now," she said.
Anyone with information can call the police hotline at 1800-255 0000.
This article was first published in The New Paper.