A cleaning supervisor who is suspected to have been murdered was found dead in a 2m-deep drain at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal yesterday morning.
Madam Maimunah Awang, 54, had become uncontactable the previous afternoon.
Her body was found lying behind a substation near her rest area, and there were injuries on her neck and stomach. The gold jewellery she usually wore was missing, said an employee at the ferry terminal.
Police were called at around 9.45am and the Singaporean woman was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics about an hour later at 10.39am.
The case has been classified as murder and investigations are ongoing. Some of her colleagues at the terminal cried when they heard what had happened.
"I last saw her (on Thursday) around 3pm, walking by. She said 'Hi' to me," said a 60-year-old colleague who declined to be named.
He recalled that she had been on her way to the cleaners' rest area at the substation, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
"She was always smiling," he said, adding that he "was shocked" to hear of her death.
"She was a very nice woman."
Another colleague in his 50s, who also did not want to be named, said Madam Maimunah was like a sister to him. "We realised she was missing around 4pm and started looking for her around 7pm, but did not see her," he said.
The area behind the substation was dark at night, he explained.
He added that Madam Maimunah was a widow and had three daughters. She had worked at the terminal for around seven years.
The victim had earlier told one of her daughters that she would return home late on Thursday as she was taking over a co-worker's night shift that would end at 10pm, said her colleague. Usually, her working hours were from around 7am to 5pm.
"I couldn't sleep that night and kept calling her phone. But I couldn't get through to her," he said.
Madam Maimunah, who was still in her uniform, was found in the morning by another cleaning supervisor. Another cleaner, Ms Wang Jinying, 45, said the victim had been her work supervisor. "She was always good to us, although we had language differences."
When The Straits Times visited Madam Maimunah's home in Jurong West yesterday, her family was not in, but neighbours said she was often seen wearing a gold bracelet and necklace.
• Additional Reporting by Felicia Choo