D'Leedon murder: Maid found boy dead when police arrived

D'Leedon condominium off Farrer Road.
D'Leedon condominium off Farrer Road. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Belgian Philippe Graffart has been arrested over the death of his son, Keryan.
Belgian Philippe Graffart has been arrested over the death of his son, Keryan.PHOTO: PHILIPPE GRAFFART / FACEBOOK

Nothing unusual happened, except for boss' phone quarrel with his ex-wife, says helper

SINGAPORE - Domestic helper Ni Em Cin did not think much about a quarrel her employer had with his ex-wife over the phone on Monday night.

The maid, from Myanmar, did not know what it was about since he spoke in French, but the argument did not seem very heated, she said.

But in the morning, things were very different. She woke up when the police knocked on the door just after 6am. When she led them to the room of her employer's five-year-old son, she found him dead.

"I thought he was sleeping," she told The Straits Times. "I went closer to him, and that's when I realised, his lips were dark."

Her Belgian employer Philippe Graffart has been arrested. He was found at about 5am outside Bukit Timah Neighbourhood Police Centre, about 2km from his D'Leedon condominium home off Farrer Road. He appeared to be injured.

NOT TOO MUCH TROUBLE

Keryan is a sweet boy and we are close.

He can be stubborn at times but, with some patience, I can handle him well, sometimes even better than his father.

MS NI EM CIN, a maid from Myanmar who works for the victim's father

 

Ms Ni, 29, said she started working for the family last month.

She added that the boy, Keryan, would take turns staying with each of his parents, a week at a time. Last Friday night, it was the father's turn, and he brought Keryan home.

She said "everything seemed normal" over the weekend.

However, her employer was due to fly to Hong Kong for work today (Wednesday) and arrangements had been made for Keryan's mother to pick him up after school, she said.

"I went to bed at 1am after talking to my sister on the phone," said Ms Ni, who has been working in Singapore for close to seven years.

She did not notice anything unusual throughout the night, despite being a light sleeper, she said.

"I woke up only when I heard the police knocking on the door, non-stop. I went to my boss' room but he didn't open the door, so I thought he was sleeping."

She later let two police officers into the unit, before going to Keryan's room.

"Keryan is a sweet boy and we are close. He can be stubborn at times but, with some patience, I can handle him well, sometimes even better than his father," she said.

She said father and son shared a loving relationship. They also had the habit of sleeping together, in either of their bedrooms.

Still, Keryan, who would readily talk to her about his friends and school, rarely opened up about his family, said Ms Ni.

She said her employer was also secretive about his family. She met Keryan's mother only once, to hand her a note, and was warned by her boss not to speak to her.

While her employer was prone to being short-tempered, he would never resort to violence, she added.

"He scolded his son sometimes, just like any father would. But I know he wanted the best for him. They were very sweet together."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2015, with the headline 'Maid found boy dead when police arrived'. Print Edition | Subscribe