GOMBAK (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The parents who allegedly buried their son in the kitchen floor of their vacated house in Malaysia have been arrested.
Investigations led police to track down the 33-year-old father in Keningau, Sabah, at about 6.30pm on Saturday.
After picking him up, police found the mother with her two daughters staying at a relative's house in Penampang at about 1am on Sunday.
"The parents are being held in the police headquarters of the districts' they were arrested in," said Gombak district police chief, Asst Comm Ali Ahmad.
"They may be flown back here tomorrow (Monday).
"They only had two children with them. Their son was missing.
"We believe the body that we found in the kitchen of their house is their child, but we will only know for sure after a DNA test," he said.
The case is being investigated for murder.
Police had left the two girls in the care of the mother's sister in Penampang as the parents are expected to undergo a long investigation over the alleged incident.
Mr Ali confirmed that post-mortem results revealed that the body in the cement hole was that of a boy, who had died at the age of about eight to 10. He added that a post-mortem suggested that the child might have died in April. The cause of death has yet to be determined.
No visible signs of injury were found on his severely decomposed body, he also said.
On Friday, renovation workers found the child's body buried in cement after smelling a foul stench coming from a hole in the kitchen floor in Taman Usaha Jaya, Kepong.
The parents had allegedly asked their landlord permission to repair a bathroom in March, before vacating the house without notice.
Their neighbours said sounds of children crying and beating were a regular occurrence in the household.
The home had its doors and windows locked, and the family never chatted with their neighbours.
About a week before they moved out, neighbours heard a boy cry out: "Please! Don't hit me! Don't hit me!"
Taman Usaha Jaya residents said they were saddened but not surprised by the morbid find, saying that there was "something off" about the family.
Besides shutting themselves in during their eight months there, neighbours often heard cries of children and beatings from the house.
Neighbour Ten Heen, 65, whose relative rented the home to the family, described the 33-year-old patriarch as a "man who could eat you up".
His arms were covered in tattoos and he would be very cold towards Mr Ten even when greeted.
"Whenever he walked out, it's like he was scared someone would recognise him," Mr Ten said, adding that the man lived in the house with his wife, their two daughters and two sons.
The strange odour of chemical from the house was nothing unusual for the neighbourhood, said Mr Ten.
"The children are quite young - maybe the eldest has just started secondary school.
"Last month, I heard a big fight in the house and I heard the son pleading 'don't hit me, don't hit me'.
"The next day, neighbours noticed that one son was missing. He didn't come out of the house.
"The day after that, the family brought in a contractor to drill a hole," said Mr Ten.
He said he suspected something amiss when his brother-in-law told him that they only hired a contractor to fix a clogged pipe in the bathroom.
The family, he said, became more reclusive and the home was dead quiet for about a week. Neighbours then saw the family packing up and driving off around mid-April.
On Friday, renovation workers found the child's body buried in cement after smelling a foul stench coming from a hole in the kitchen floor.
It was wrapped in cloth and severely decomposed.
Selangor CID chief Mohd Adnan Abdullah had earlier said that he believed the child was a girl because the remains had long hair.
Another neighbour, Mr Azizan Shafiee, said even the children avoided speaking to neighbours.
"When he returned home from work, he would never come out of his car if one of us was standing outside. He would go around the neighbourhood in his car until we went inside.
"I didn't know them but I am very sad that this happened. That was a child and it's cruel," he told The Star.