Questions over motive for Jakarta 'toilet murder'

Mr Dodi is seen here with his third wife Agnesya, who is reportedly now seven months pregnant with his child. The police said they will question her to learn about Mr Dodi's life prior to his death. Zanette bursting into tears as her father's body wa
Zanette bursting into tears as her father's body was being buried at a cemetery in South Jakarta on Wednesday.PHOTOS: JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Mr Dodi is seen here with his third wife Agnesya, who is reportedly now seven months pregnant with his child. The police said they will question her to learn about Mr Dodi's life prior to his death. Zanette bursting into tears as her father's body wa
Mr Dodi is seen here with his third wife Agnesya, who is reportedly now seven months pregnant with his child. The police said they will question her to learn about Mr Dodi's life prior to his death. PHOTOS: JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JAKARTA • The police's swift investigation into the deaths of six people in Pulo Mas, East Jakarta, on Tuesday has won public praise, but there are still lingering questions keeping up the pressure on investigators to uncover the real motives behind the crime.

On Wednesday night, the police arrested another suspect, Alfins Bernius Sinaga.

Hours earlier, a dramatic raid in Bekasi, West Java, led to the police shooting to death Ramlan Butar Butar, who already had a criminal record and was allegedly the leader of the gang.

Another suspect, Erwin Situmorang, is being held at the Jakarta Police's detention centre. The police are now hunting down the last suspect, identified as Yus Pane.

Despite the police's promptness in arresting the alleged perpetrators, some big questions have remained unanswered in the case, particularly on whether robbery was the only motive.

The police said the crime, which occurred inside a luxurious house in an upscale housing complex, was a robbery, but they could not specify what valuables had been taken except for two bags containing a Rolex watch and some foreign currency worth more than 60 million rupiah (S$6,450).

There are suggestions that the values of the stolen item and money were "too small" for a "professional" robbery led by a high-profile recidivist like Ramlan.

Mr Dodi Triono, the 59-year-old architect who owned the house and who died in the incident, has been depicted as a billionaire, given his luxury home and sports cars.

Mr Bambang Widodo Umar, a criminal law expert with the University of Indonesia, said being quick in arresting the suspects was important, but investigators should also be able to answer questions from the public.

"(If many questions remain unanswered), that means the police have yet to uncover the real motives, or they have yet to collect sufficient evidence," Mr Bambang told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

He said investigators should be able to explore more possibilities, such as whether the victims had been killed because of business competition, or family issues, or even revenge. Mr Bambang, who is a retired high-ranking police officer, said people could have been hired to commit the crimes.

Mr Dodi's daughters from his second marriage, Diona Arika Andra Putri, 16, and Dianita Gemma Dzalfayla, nine, as well as the girls' friend, Amel, and the family's drivers, Yanto and Tasrok, also died in the incident.

The police said medical tests confirmed the six died of asphyxiation after being locked inside a 2.25 sq m bathroom for more than 17 hours.

Another of Mr Dodi's daughters from his second marriage, Zanette Kalila Azaria, 13, and four domestic helpers, who were also locked in the bathroom, survived.

Mr Dodi lived in the house with two of his daughters from his second wife, from whom he was divorced. The police said they would question his third wife, Agnesya Kalangi, 19, who was living in a separate house, to learn about Mr Dodi's life prior to his death.

JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2016, with the headline 'Questions over motive for Jakarta 'toilet murder''. Print Edition | Subscribe