SINGAPORE - The 24-year-old woman who was charged with the murder of her four-year-old daughter insisted on raising the child on her own after her divorce and then broke off contact with both her family and that of her ex-husband, said her brother-in-law.
Foo Li Ping, 24, and Wong Shi Xiang, 33, are accused of killing Foo's daughter, Megan Khung Yu Wai, at a unit at Suites @ Guillemard, a condominium in Paya Lebar, some time in February.
Speaking to Shin Min Daily News on Sunday (July 26), the victim's uncle - her father's elder brother - said Foo and his brother agreed to divorce after being married for more than a year owing to arguments over their daughter.
He added that Foo was adamant on raising the child by herself and her in-laws saw no reason to stop her.
The child was around 18 to 19 months old at that time.
"But after she took her child away, she then moved in with her family and refused to let us see Megan," said the man, who did not give his name.
"Last week, (Foo's) mother contacted my mother to say that she had not heard from Foo since last September, when (Foo) moved out with Megan. That's when we thought something was wrong."
His brother and mother then made a police report last Monday, the man said. The police had earlier said that they received a report last Monday at 5.36pm that the four-year-old girl had gone missing.
They established that the girl had died and identified the three suspects.
Wong and Foo - who are understood to be a couple - were charged with the murder on Saturday. The pair, along with another woman, Nouvelle Chua Ruoshi, 30, have also been charged with disposing the body of the girl to hide what happened to her.
They were said to have intentionally disposed her body by transporting it to Paya Ubi Industrial Park and burning it in a metal barrel.
According to Chinese-language paper Lianhe Wanbao, Wong used to work in a car servicing workshop in Paya Ubi Industrial Park.
The owner of the workshop told Wanbao that Wong worked there last year, but left not long after.
The victim's uncle said the family was devastated by the unexpected news of the victim's death.
"I cannot imagine what they (the suspects) might have done to her," he said.
"She can do whatever she wants with her life, but why did she have to take away the child too? If she had any problems, she could have come to us. So why?"
He added that, at this stage, the family is hoping to be able to arrange a funeral for the victim as a form of closure.
Offenders convicted of murder with common intention face the death penalty.
Those found guilty of disposing a corpse to prevent detection of an offence with common intention can be jailed for up to seven years.