Alleged murder victim of British former banker Rurik Jutting laid to rest in Indonesia

Relatives and villagers carry the coffin of Sumarti Ningsih, one of two Indonesian women allegedly murdered by British banker Rurik Jutting in Hong Kong, during her funeral at Gandrungmangu village, in Cilacap, Central Java province, on Nov 12, 2014.
Relatives and villagers carry the coffin of Sumarti Ningsih, one of two Indonesian women allegedly murdered by British banker Rurik Jutting in Hong Kong, during her funeral at Gandrungmangu village, in Cilacap, Central Java province, on Nov 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

CILACAP, INDONESIA/HONGKONG - Grieving relatives and friends gathered in a remote Indonesian village to bid farewell to one of the two Indonesian women allegedly murdered by a British former banker in Hong Kong.

The weeping mother of Sumarti Ningsih, 25, whose decaying body was found stuffed in a suitcase, said: "I'm so tormented."

"I will never accept that my daughter was tortured until she died,'' Suratmi, who goes by only one name, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"Why must this be my daughter's fate?" she told AFP from Cilacap.

Sumarti's heartbroken family watched as her coffin was laid in a graveyard in remote Gandrungmangu village in the Cilacap region of Java island on Wednesday.

Her cousin Jumiati said she last saw Sumarti in August in their home village. Jumiati said she called police about a week ago to report that her cousin was missing and was later asked to identify her body.

"I hope the killer will be punished and will feel the same as what has been done to my cousin," she said at the vigil.

Sumarti, who was a divorcee, left home when she was in her late teens and went to Hong Kong to work as a domestic worker, leaving her son - now six years old - in her parents' care, Mail Online reported.

She was able to send large sums of money back to Gandrungmangu to help pay for her son's education, according to the report. But she subsequently faced problems with her visa and was forced to become a prostitute.

Sumarti's mutilated body was found on Nov 1 in a suitcase placed at the balcony in an apartment belonging to Rurik Jutting, who until recently worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. It is believed she had been dead for five days at the time of the discovery.

A second woman - Seneng Mujiasih, 28 - was found in the living room with her throat and buttocks slashed.

Jutting, 29, was arrested after calling police to the scene. He has been charged with the women's murder and his case has been adjourned for two weeks of psychiatric reports.

Seneng's father Mujiharjo said that the family had been stunned by news of the death of his daughter, adding that her killer "doesn't deserve to live".

"Words cannot describe how we feel now, we are all shocked," the father told AFP from the family home in Sidomakmur village on Muna island in central Indonesia.

"We never imagined this could happen to my daughter. She is a lovely person, has many friends and was always telling jokes."

Just minutes before her death, Seneng had sent a text message to a friend at 3.25 am on Nov 1 complaining of a "really bad" smell inside Jutting's apartment and saying she wanted to "get out of here", The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

Although it remains unclear exactly why she had wanted to leave the apartment and what the smell was, other residents in the building were said to have complained of a "dead animal" stench in the corridors, according to the report. They were later told that the smell was from Sumarti's decomposing body.

Jutting, who reportedly earned £350,00 (S$714,487) a year as a banker, was pictured on Nov 10 chuckling to himself in the back of a prison van after being sent for psychiatric tests to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

Reports by two different doctors are required under Hong Kong law, said prosecutor Louise Wong who confirmed that Jutting is being held at the maximum-security Siu Lam psychiatric centre, according to Mail Online.

He will next appear in court on Nov 24.