KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A gruesome tale is unfolding of the deaths of two children and their father, whose bodies were discovered at an apartment in Kuala Lumpur on Monday (Sept 26), as police interview the children's two siblings.
The dead children's two elder brothers, aged six and eight, have been telling stories of a violent father and a mother who was too traumatised and out of touch with the real world to protect them as they suffered abuse at their apartment in the neighbourhood of Taman Sri Sinar.
The condition of the two surviving children was enough to stun even a seasoned crimebuster like Sentul police department Assistant Commissioner R. Munusamy.
"When I saw the two brothers, it was shocking. They had scars and bruises. A large wound on the back of the head. Tips of their fingers were black, possibly from being fractured," he said at the Sentul police headquarters on Tuesday (Sept 27).
The two brothers were brought to the Child Interview Centre to help shed light on what happened.
The two were traumatised but told a sickening story.
According to the brothers, the youngest son, seven-month-old Cheah Kai Wen, died as far back as three months ago and the body was kept in the house, with incense being burnt to cover the smell.
"According to the brothers, the youngest child started crying, possibly because he was choking on milk.
"They said their father came out of his room angrily and threw a chair at the baby before going back in.
"The next day, the father found the baby not breathing," said ACP Munusamy.
It was unclear when the incident happened and how the older daughter, three-year-old Kai Sze died, said ACP Munusamy.
"We are still waiting for the full post-mortem results to determine the cause of death for all three of them.
According to ACP Munusamy, the initial post-mortem report showed the younger boy had died from blunt force trauma to the head, and the hospital was awaiting the toxicology report for the other two.
"The father probably stuffed the dead children in the plastic containers to hide the smell," he said, adding that the house was also filled with the scent of joss sticks.
The investigation was initially targeted at the 35-year-old mother who had gaps and lapses in her story to the police.
ACP Munusamy said the process of uncovering the truth was slow because the victims were young and traumatised.
However, what little information gathered from them paints a disturbing picture.
"The father, Cheah Hing Soon, 34, who was found sprawled in the master bedroom, was prone to bouts of violence and abused his children," he said.
Police believe the father may have decided to take his own life after killing his two children.
The mother of the children, who was arrested on Monday and remanded for five days, showed a lack of grasp on reality.
She told police that she believed her husband when he told her that the two dead children were living with relatives, when she questioned him about their disappearance.
Yet, she lived in the same apartment.
"They were not living separately either. She and her husband were living in the apartment with the four children," said ACP Munusamy.
It is believed she told the two brothers to go to sleep beside their father's body after she found him dead on Sunday.
"She told us she couldn't contact the police because she did not have credit on her phone.
"The next day, she topped up the credit for her phone, sent the two brothers to her father-in-law and then called a funeral parlour," he said.
She only contacted the police when the funeral parlour told her to do so.
Police are checking if she was also abused by her husband.
Both parents were unemployed and were believed to have been supported financially by the man's father, who owns a credit company in Kuala Lumpur.