Former maid, lover held over baby Freddie's abduction

Former maid, lover held over baby Freddie's abduction

KUALA LUMPUR - Police yesterday arrested a couple in connection with the kidnapping of 18-month-old Freddie Joseph, who was found safe in Taman Tasik Titiwangsa here on Saturday after he was was snatched at the family's home in Bangsar three days ago.

City police Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah said the couple, a 53-year-old local man and his 39-year-old Filipino partner, were arrested in a raid at 11am at their flat.He said investigations revealed the Filipina had worked as a maid for the toddler's mother, Briton Sarah Joseph, 39, for about year. She stopped working with the family six months ago.

"The maid, who has a work permit, has been working in the country since 2004 and is now with her new employer in Damansara. Her boyfriend works as a plumbing and electrical works assistant."

Ku said although the man's appearance did not fit the police's photofit of the male suspect released on Saturday, police had reasons to believe that he and his partner were involved in the kidnapping.

"It's too early to assume that the couple are the main suspects. However, we believe their arrest will shed light on our investigations into the case," Ku said, adding that the case had been classified under Section 3(1) of the Kidnapping Act 1961.

He said police seized several items from the flat to assist in the probe. The duo are expected to be remanded today.

Freddie was found calm and unhurt on Saturday noon, 20 hours after he was snatched at his home in Jalan Terasek 7, by members of the public as he wandered alone in Jalan Kuantan at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa.


In Friday's 6.10pm incident, a man had entered the house compound and grabbed Freddie, who was left alone while his mother Sarah, 39, went inside the house after feeding him.

Sarah gave chase and grappled with the man but he escaped after handing the toddler to his accomplice, a woman, waiting in a white Toyota Camry with fake registration number plate before they sped off.

Following the abduction, which had gone viral on social media, police released a photofit of the suspect: a 168cm-tall, fair-skinned male of Asian origin.

Meanwhile, the family of Freddie has thanked the public and media for his safe return.

A family friend, who wished to be known only as Rob, said Freddie's family expressed immense gratitude for the support and professionalism in the swift response leading to the toddler's rescue.

He said the media exposure had played a big part in the toddler's return, adding that the boy and his mother were still warded at the hospital since yesterday.

Sarah is receiving treatment for injuries she had sustained during the abduction.

"She suffered several cuts to the arm, a broken bone in her foot, bruised toes and numerous abrasions and bruises on the body," Rob told Bernama when contacted here yesterday.

At the same time, Rob also requested media representatives to respect Sarah and Freddie's privacy while they recovered and came to terms with what had happened.

He said the family, together with the police and the British High Commission, would issue a full statement early next week.


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