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'She left the world in fear': Parents desperate for more information after Singaporean woman drowns in Taiwan

'She left the world in fear': Parents desperate for more information after Singaporean woman drowns in Taiwan
CCTV footage of the last time Moo was seen (left) and Moo in a graduation gown.
PHOTO: Adeleen Chia

To celebrate the end of her exams, Amelia Moo Wen Si rewarded herself with a solo trip to Taiwan in April.

It wasn't the 22-year-old's first time travelling there, so her parents, Adeleen Chia, 53, and Peter Moo, 52, weren't too worried about her. 

But when she suddenly stopped replying to their text messages, they felt something was amiss.  

Unfortunately, their worst fears came true — their daughter had drowned at sea in Hualien. 

She had reached Taiwan on April 28 and was supposed to return to Singapore on May 8, her parents told AsiaOne in an exclusive interview. 

On May 6, she left her hotel at 5.30pm. CCTV footage also showed her walking along the beach near her hotel at 6pm. 

The young woman called a friend on Telegram at 8.17pm but didn't get through, and that was the last contact she had made with anyone.

Her father sent her a text message that night, but he never received a reply.

When she didn't respond for the next 24 hours, her parents alerted Taiwan police on May 7. 

The following day, they reported the incident to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei. 

They also called Hotel Bayview, the hotel their daughter had stayed in, and learnt that staff were aware that she had gone missing as she was supposed to check out on May 8. 

Body caught in fishing net 

After Taiwanese media reported about an unidentified female body found at sea, the young woman's father and aunt suspected she could've met with misfortune and flew to Hualien on May 9, and identified her body at the morgue.

According to the police, fishermen found her body — caught in a fishing net — near the coast of Beipu Village on May 7 morning.

Preliminary investigations showed that she had drowned and the police ruled out foul play. There were also no signs that she had been sexually assaulted or injured by others. 

An autopsy was conducted on May 10, and her family was told that the report would only be out after two months.

As of now, what led to her death is still unknown, the deceased's mother told AsiaOne.

The Singapore Trade Office in Taiwan also recently informed the family that investigations are still ongoing.

What led to her death?

While it's clear that the young woman had drowned, how she met her fate remains a mystery.

"I don't think she could have just disappeared for two hours from 6pm to 8pm," her family emphasised to AsiaOne during the interview. 

They hazarded a guess at what could've led to her death.

"When I heard the area had lots of dogs, the first thing that came to mind was that she was chased by dogs and fell," her mother said, adding that she was afraid of canines.

She could've blacked out after falling.

"This is what we expect. Because there were no external injuries and she couldn't have been hit by someone or pushed by somebody else."

When they were in Taiwan, the young woman's father and aunt also went searching for clues by walking around the area where she went missing.

They noted that the waters off the beach were choppy and the wind was very strong. 

Since she couldn't swim, her mother said it was possible that "she accidentally fell and was swept out by the waves".

The family ruled out suicide, saying that she was having a good time on her Taiwan trip and even met up with other family members who were also on holiday there. 

She showed no abnormal behaviour before she went missing, her mother said. "From the messages and photos she shared with her friends, she was enjoying herself."

There were also no signs of her being unhappy.

In fact, the Singapore Management University law student had big plans for her future, such as applying for bar exams in August and starting work at a law firm next January.

"If she really wanted to commit suicide, she wouldn't have spent the past few months studying so hard for her final exam. She could have just let it go and not stress [over it]. 

"She treasured her life a lot. There's no reason why she would want to end her life because she was about to enter a new phase of her life," her mother said. 

'I feel there's more to the story'

According to her father, she was found with no identification on her so Taiwanese police thought that she was a local and carried out allegedly a basic investigation before closing the case.

The case was only reopened after he identified her body.

"The officers there told us she had drowned, just like that. But I feel like there is more to the story. I know my daughter," he said. 

But what hurts her family the most was how her final moments had been lonely and painful. 

"I feel sad that within the two hours that she was in danger, nobody came to [help] her. There was nobody to care for her or guide her," the deceased's mother told AsiaOne. 

"She left the world in fear and it's just unfortunate." 

The family hopes that in coming out, they can find witnesses or evidence regarding the case.

If you have potential information about the case, you may contact this reporter or

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