Man arrested in connection with discovery of 11-year-old girl's body in Kuantan

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KUANTAN - Malaysian police arrested a man in his 20s on Sunday (Feb 10) in connection with investigations into the discovery of a girl's body in Kampung Tanjung Medang Hilir in Pekan, Bernama news agency reported.

Pekan District Police chief Supt Amran Sidek, who confirmed the arrest, said the suspect was believed to be the last individual seen with the victim.

He, however, declined to elaborate on the arrest until a post-mortem report is received from the Forensics Unit at the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital.

"So far, I can only confirm the suspect has been remanded for 14 days under the Immigration Act," he said.

Amran said that identity of the victim, said to be Siti Masitoh Ibrahim who was reported missing since Jan 30, could not be verified yet, according to Bernama.

Media reports state that the body of a girl was found tied up and in a decomposed state by villagers in a bush located about 200m from the main road.

While several local news sources have said the body was found with internal organs missing, police have dismissed the claim.

Her parents, Mr Ibrahim Ali, 39 and Ms Zaleha Abdullah, 35, managed to identify their daughter by the blue dress she had been wearing the day she disappeared, reported New Straits Times.

"It broke my heart to see the mutilated body of my daughter... We searched for her in the same area 11 days ago, but she was not there," the grieving mother told NST.

Ms Zaleha, who has three other children, told Malaysian media that her daughter had asked for RM1 (S$0.33) at about 5pm on the day she went missing so she could buy something at a shop.

The girl, described by her mother as a jovial child, had promised to return home swiftly.

"Who would so cruelly kill my daughter? How could someone murder a little girl? What did she do wrong?" Ms Zaleha said to Sin Chew Daily.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.