Indonesian maid arrested over abandoned baby

A 30-year-old Indonesian maid was arrested by the police last night in connection with an abandoned newborn baby that she had apparently found outside her employer's home off Sixth Avenue. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MELISSA LIN
A 30-year-old Indonesian maid was arrested by the police last night in connection with an abandoned newborn baby that she had apparently found outside her employer's home off Sixth Avenue. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MELISSA LIN

A 30-year-old Indonesian maid was arrested by the police last night in connection with an abandoned newborn baby that she had apparently found outside her employer's home.

The baby girl, who still had her umbilical cord attached, was left outside a terraced house near Sixth Avenue last Friday night, according to the home owner, who declined to give her name.

The middle-aged woman told The Sunday Times yesterday morning that her maid found the baby when she was taking out the garbage.

The maid then took the baby into the house and notified the woman's husband, who called the police. "I don't know why the baby was abandoned there," the woman said.

The police confirmed yesterday that they received a call about the baby last Friday at 9.20pm. The case has been classified as abandonment of a child and investigations are ongoing, said a spokesman.

The maid has been working with the family for more than two years.

Residents The Sunday Times spoke to said the home belonged to a retired couple who go by the surname Yeo. Their maid is known as Yanti.

Most residents said they realised something was amiss only when they saw more than 10 uniformed police officers gathering outside the Lotus Avenue unit.

A next-door neighbour who wanted to be known only as Mrs Selvarajah, 72, said she was awakened by the police at 11pm. The officers asked her if she had seen anyone carrying a baby outside her house.

The baby has been taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital for observation.

The Sunday Times understands that she appeared fine and did not have any signs of injury.

Cases of abandoned babies are relatively rare here, although there was a similar incident reported on Aug 9, when a week-old baby girl was found by a passer-by at a Serangoon Central lift lobby.

The police, however, have since tracked down her 28-year-old mother.

Prior to that, the last report of an abandoned baby was in April 2011, when a runaway Indonesian maid buried her newborn baby, with his umbilical cord still attached, in a rooftop garden of a multi-storey carpark in Eunos.

The baby boy, whose mouth was stuffed with mud and dried leaves, was still alive when he was found by a retiree.

His 28-year-old mother, who was suffering from major depressive disorder, was arrested and later jailed for six weeks for child abandonment.

Those found guilty of child abandonment can be jailed for up to seven years and/or fined.