Trusted friend becomes main suspect in housemate's murder

PETALING JAYA: He was a trusted friend of the couple who rented the same unit on the 13th floor of Mentari Court - until he became the number one suspect in the murder of a 23-year-old housemate.

It was believed that the 36-year-old suspect from Nibong Tebal, Penang, had moved into the house three days prior to the incident on Wednesday night.

The victim's husband, 27, found her semi-naked with her hands and feet bound at about 8pm.

She was believed to have been strangled to death in her bedroom with her two-month-old baby just a few feet away.

The baby was unharmed.

Investigations showed that the victim lived there with three other housemates, who worked with her husband, while she looked after their child at home.

It is learnt that the suspect had seven pre­vious convictions and was also wanted for two drug cases.

A woman, who refused to be identified, said the suspect was close to them and was also a colleague of the victim's husband.

"We didn't think much of it when we allowed him to start renting the place with us. He rented the middle room, while the victim and her husband rented the master bedroom.

"He was a friend and we thought he was harmless. We didn't think that trusting someone could turn fatal," she said.

She added that the victim, from Kuala Selangor, and her husband were married last year and had been staying there for the past six months.

Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Azmi Abu Kassim said the suspect was arrested at Hentian Pudu, Kuala Lumpur.

"He was picked up at about 10.30pm on the same day. He is being remanded for seven days starting today (yesterday)," he said.

The victim was found on the bedroom floor by her husband, who had just finished his shift as a security guard for an electronics factory.

It was reported that he had to break down the front door after he found it locked with no response from inside.

At the time of the incident, the victim was with her child in the apartment.

Police did not find any sign of forced entry, which led them to suspect one of the occupants of the apartment.

Checks revealed that there was no sign of injury on the body and she could have been strangled to death.

Police also found blood stains in the room and retrieved a weapon allegedly used to commit the murder.

The case is being investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.