Girl, 5, found dead at home

MALAYSIA - Concerned that a five-year-old girl had not attended school for more than five days, a kindergarten teacher told a classmate's parents to check on her, the Star reported.

So the classmate's mother and her son went to the apartment at about 8.30am on Wednesday and rang the bell.

"My sister is dead," said the seven-year-old boy who opened the door.

After finding the child's body in the master bedroom, the woman called the police. The girl is believed to have died as the parents attempted to end their lives.

The parents, who have been arrested, first attempted suicide on Sept 11 by burning charcoal and inhaling the fumes in their second floor apartment at Sri Manja Square in Petaling Jaya.

"They burned charcoal in the master bedroom before they all went to bed, but the suicide attempt failed," Petaling Jaya Assistant Commissioner of Police Arjunaidi Mohamed told reporters at the scene.

"The next day, they tried again. This time, their daughter died. This is what the couple told us, but we still have to investigate and wait for the post-mortem report."

The man, who is in his 50s, is a contractor who has been jobless for almost a month. He and his wife, who is in her 40s, were arrested on Thursday.

ACP Arjunaidi said the couple took the girl's body to Klang on Sept 13 to look for a place for the rest of the family to commit suicide.

They could find no "suitable" place for their third suicide attempt, and brought the body back to the apartment, which belonged to a relative.

Staying with relative

ACP Arjunaidi said the girl's body had been sent to the Universiti Malaya Medical Centrel, while the boy was staying with a relative.

He said police also found at least one noose in the house.

The victim's elder brother was handed over to a close relative.

Meanwhile, a source told the New Straits Times that the father told police that he had only RM50 (S$20) to his name.

"He told investigators that he didn't know how to fend for his family with that kind of money, and that was why he and his wife decided to commit suicide," said the source.

A neighbour, who wanted to be known only as Rose, said she did not suspect anything was amiss when the family failed to respond when she knocked on their door on Wednesday morning.

"I wanted to tell the father that his car was blocking another person's vehicle, but no one answered the door.

"Last week, when I crossed paths with the girl and her mother, they seemed happy and normal. I didn't notice anything unusual in their behaviour."

Rose described the victim as jovial and friendly and her parents as neighbourly.

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