An Indonesian maid who was on the run for almost a week after her elderly employers were found bound and dead in their Bedok Reservoir flat has been caught.
Khasanah, 41, was arrested for the double murder on Tuesday night when police in Indonesia's Jambi province raided her hotel room.
Among the items found in her possession were several pieces of jewellery, watches, mobile phones, a laptop computer and cash in various currencies, Jambi police spokesman Kuswahyudi Tresnadi said yesterday.
It was reported that money and valuables were missing from the home of Mr Chia Ngim Fong, 79, and his wife Chin Sek Fah, 78, when their bodies were found.
Local police were tipped off to her whereabouts on Tuesday by residents in Tungkal Ilir, a rustic town located in West Tanjung Jabung regency, on the east coast of central Sumatra, the spokesman said.
Khasanah was overheard talking on the phone at an Internet cafe and saying: "How is their condition? I don't know if they died. I am willing to repent by staying at a pesantren (Islamic boarding school)."
Her phone conversation raised suspicion because Indonesian counter-terrorism police have arrested in recent months several pesantren staff and students suspected of being extremists.
It was not clear who Khasanah was talking to on the phone or asking about, but when the police arrived at the Internet cafe, they found out that she had been browsing online reports on the Bedok murders, said Mr Kuswahyudi.
The officers from the West Tanjung Jabung police later tracked her down at the hotel, where an employee confirmed that her name was the same as that of the suspect mentioned in news reports about the case.
According to Mr Kuswahyudi, Khasanah admitted to the double murder in Singapore during the interrogation by her arresting officers.
Investigations are still ongoing, and the police are trying to find out if the items found in her possession belonged to Mr Chia and Madam Chin. These included a ring, a jade bracelet, a necklace, five watches, several mobile phones, a laptop computer and cash in various currencies such as rupiah, Singapore, US and Canadian dollars, ringgit and yuan.
Khasanah, who is originally from Central Java, had been working for the couple for about a month.
On June 21, they were found tied up and unconscious in their five-room executive flat in Bedok Reservoir Road, and later pronounced dead.
Initial reports by Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao said Khasanah might have bought a ferry ticket and fled to either Batam or Tanjung Balai in the Riau Islands, as police worked to establish her role in the deaths of her employers. Jambi province is located more than 300km away from Singapore.
The Straits Times visited the couple's flat in Bedok last night, but no one answered the door.
•Additional reporting by Linette Lai