Headless body of woman in river

The decapitated body of a woman was found floating in Whampoa River on Thursday morning.

Police said they received a call at 7.33am, after a jogger and a cleaner saw part of the body - wrapped in what appeared to be trash bags - in the waterway between McNair and St George's roads just after sunrise.

Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) firefighters, who were called to the scene minutes later, then retrieved the body.

The Straits Times understands that the woman was wearing just a pair of black pants when her body was brought to land.

Details about the woman, whose arms were also thought to have been mutilated, are scant because no identification was found on her.

Police have classified the case as an unnatural death and are investigating.

When The Straits Times visited the scene later in the morning, SCDF divers were spotted searching the river at low tide. Police officers were also seen combing the area and searching rubbish bins in the neighbourhood for evidence.

The head of the woman, however, had not been found at press time.

Residents in the area were stunned to learn about Thursday's grisly find.

Civil servant Adeline Ng, 39, was on her way to work at about 7.45am when she saw police at the scene.

She snapped several photographs, including one of a black trash bag believed to contain the body, and sent them to citizen journalism website Stomp.

"It's a shock that this happened here," said Ms Ng, who walks along the canal to Boon Keng MRT station from her home at Block 7 in St George's Road every day. "I will probably avoid jogging alone at night now."

Whampoa River starts at Jalan Rajah near Balestier and flows into the Kallang River at Kallang Bahru.

Housewife Josephine Ng, 57, who has lived at Block 110 in McNair Road for 26 years, said she was home the whole night on Wednesday and did not hear anything. "This area is usually very peaceful and quiet," she added.

St George's Road resident and retiree Theresa P. Kalimuthu said her tenant had stayed up until 1am on Thursday and had not heard any commotion.

"He was sitting outside, talking on the phone near the river, but he said he didn't hear anything," said the 63-year-old.

A similar incident occurred in February, when the body of a man in his 60s was found floating in Whampoa River, near Block 38A in Bendemeer Road. Police also investigated the case as an unnatural death.

In 2005, there was a high-profile case involving the murder of 22-year-old Chinese national Liu Hong Mei. Her upper torso and lower body were found wrapped in plastic bags in cardboard boxes on the banks of Kallang River. Her killer, factory supervisor Leong Siew Chor, 52, was hanged for the crime in 2007.

Members of the public who have any information on Thursday's case can call the police on 1800-255-0000.

jianxuan@sph.com.sg


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