KL triple family death

Toddler, baby died days before bodies were found

Police believe seven-month-old Cheah Kai Wen died more than five days ago, while three-year-old Kai Sze had been dead for more than a week. Both children are believed to have died from injuries inflicted by their father, who died after drinking "chea
Police believe seven-month-old Cheah Kai Wen died more than five days ago, while three-year-old Kai Sze had been dead for more than a week. Both children are believed to have died from injuries inflicted by their father, who died after drinking "cheap alcohol", according to their mother.PHOTO: SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Incense was burned to mask smell in apartment; father died on Sunday

KUALA LUMPUR • A gruesome tale unfolded in the deaths of two children and their father in a Kuala Lumpur apartment as police interviewed the children's two siblings, The Star reported yesterday.

The dead children's two elder brothers, aged six and eight, spoke of a violent father and a mother who was too traumatised and out of touch with the real world to protect them as they suffered abuse at their apartment in Taman Sri Sinar.

The condition of the two surviving children shocked Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) R. Munusamy, the report added.

"When I saw the two brothers, it was shocking. They had scars and bruises. A large wound on the back of the head. Tips of their fingers were black, possibly from being fractured," he said on Monday.

The two brothers were brought to the Child Interview Centre to help shed light on what happened. The two boys were traumatised but they told a horrifying story.

The boys said the youngest son, seven-month-old Cheah Kai Wen, died more than five days ago, and the body was kept in the house. Incense was burned to mask the smell.

 
 
 

"According to the brothers, the youngest child had started crying, possibly because he was choking on milk. They said their father came out of his room angrily and threw a chair at the baby before going back in," said ACP Munusamy.

"The next day, the father found that the baby was not breathing."

He added that an initial post-mortem revealed that Kai Wen had died from blunt force trauma to the head more than five days ago while daughter Kai Sze, three, had been dead for more than a week.

Police were still waiting for the full post-mortem results to determine their cause of death. But the mother, 35, told police that her husband drank "cheap alcohol" on Saturday, and died the next day, Sin Chew Daily reported yesterday.

"The father probably stuffed the dead children in the plastic containers to hide the smell," ACP Munusamy said, adding that the apartment was filled with the scent of joss sticks.

The investigation initially targeted the mother, who had gaps and lapses in her statement to the police.

ACP Munusamy said the process of uncovering the truth was slow because the victims were young and traumatised, The Star reported.

However, what little information that was gathered from them painted a disturbing picture.

"The father, Cheah Hing Soon, 34, who was found sprawled on the floor of the master bedroom, was prone to bouts of violence and abused his children," he said.

He added that Cheah was arrested twice - for drug abuse in 2005 and for vandalism in 2006 - but was not charged.

The mother, who was arrested on Monday and remanded for five days, showed a strange lack of grasp on reality. She initially told police that she did not know her husband had killed the two children. But she changed her story later and said he had told her the children were dead and that he had "handled" their bodies, Sin Chew Daily reported yesterday.

She did not pursue the matter because she was afraid of her "grumpy" husband, the report added.

It is believed that she told the two brothers to go and sleep next to their father's body after she found him dead on Sunday.

She did not contact the police until Monday, after she had topped up the credit on her phone and called a funeral parlour, she said.

Both parents lost their jobs five years ago and were believed to get financial support from Mr Cheah's father, who owns a credit company in Kuala Lumpur.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2016, with the headline 'Toddler, baby died days before bodies were found'. Print Edition | Subscribe