Police arrest parents after 5-year-old daughter dies in suicide attempt

PETALING JAYA - A family suicide attempt turned into a homicide case against a couple in Malaysia when only one of their two children died.

The man, in his 50s, is a contractor who has been without a job for almost a month. He and his wife, in her 40s, were arrested yesterday.

They first attempted suicide on Sept 11 by burning charcoal and inhaling the fumes in their second floor apartment at Sri Manja Square, Taman Sri Sentosa, off Old Klang Road here.

"They burnt charcoal in the master bedroom before they all went to bed but the suicide attempt failed," Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm 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 girl was five years old while her brother is seven.

ACP Arjunaidi said the husband and wife brought the girl's body to Klang on Sept 13 looking 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.

They kept the body in the apartment until it was discovered yesterday morning after the girl's kindergarten teacher asked a classmate's mother to check on the girl who had been absent from school for more than five days.

A Sri Manja Square shopowner who did not want to be named said the classmate's mother and her son went to the apartment at about 8.30am yesterday and rang the bell.

After a while, the couple's son opened the door and told them: "My sister is dead." After finding her body in the master bedroom, the woman called the police.

ACP Arjunaidi said that early investigations showed that the family was facing financial problems.

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