On Thursday night, after 54-year-old Madam Maimunah Awang failed to return home at 7pm as she usually did, her worried daughters went to her workplace.
After a futile search, they made a police report.
Yesterday morning, they received the dreaded call from the police: Their mother, a cleaner at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, was found dead.
The police had responded to a call for help at about 9.45am and found the mother of five lying motionless in a drain near an electrical substation at the terminal.
It was where the workers are said to take their breaks and have food.
Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene around 10.40am.
The police have classified the case as murder.
Lianhe Wanbao reported that Madam Maimunah's youngest daughter, known only as Ms Kathy, 24, cried and fainted at the scene and had to be helped by paramedics.
The New Paper understands that Madam Maimunah had injuries on her neck and bruises on her abdominal area.
Shin Min Daily News reported that she would often wear gold rings and bangles. Whenever her friends advised her not to, she would insist that Singapore is a safe place.
It was reported that she did not have any jewellery on her when she was found.
Her personal items from the cabinet at the resting area were missing.
A limousine taxi coordinator, who works near the crime scene, told TNP that he saw Madam Maimunah walking towards the electrical substation at about 3pm on Thursday.
The 60-year-old, who declined to be named, has been working there for more than a year and was friends with the victim.
He said: "She was a cheerful person. I never saw her sad. She was always smiling... everybody knows her."
He said that she was hard-working, took very few breaks and would not complain.
He was puzzled that something like this would happen, adding that the place was secure, with customs officers in the ferry terminal building about 50m away from the crime scene and surveillance cameras around.
When contacted by TNP, Singapore Cruise Centre, which operates Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, said it could not comment on the matter as police are investigating.
This article was first published onNovember 26 2016.
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