Four-year-old boy found dead in Toa Payoh home

Muhammad Irfan Salam was said to be sickly but chatty. No foul play was suspected after preliminary investigations, although police are calling it an "unnatural death".
Muhammad Irfan Salam was said to be sickly but chatty. No foul play was suspected after preliminary investigations, although police are calling it an "unnatural death".ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

A four-year-old boy has died under "unnatural circumstances" at his Toa Payoh home.

Muhammad Irfan Salam, described by neighbours as a lively boy though he suffered from fits, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics on Monday morning.

No foul play was suspected after preliminary investigations, although police are calling it an "unnatural death".

Irfan's 41-year-old father was subsequently arrested the same day for drug-related offences.

It is not known where the boy's mother was, but police said they received a call requesting assistance at 7.18am.

Nobody was at home when The Straits Times visited yesterday. A baby stroller stood next to a shoe rack, which held three pairs of adult-size slippers. A colourful windmill was stuck on the gate.

Neighbours said Irfan was the youngest in a family of three boys and two girls - the eldest of whom is 10. Mr Sharin Sulaiman, a 42-year-old technical sales executive, told The Straits Times that Irfan needed medication daily.

Madam Noor, 50, a regular visitor to the block as her son lives there, said Irfan was sickly but chatty. "He would greet me every time he saw me," she said.

She would also sometimes chat with the boy's mother, who she said was a housewife.

Several neighbours also told The Straits Times that the parents had "frequent arguments".

A retired neighbour in his 70s, who declined to be named, said the children would sometimes knock on his door and he would give them biscuits. He said the family was on social assistance.

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