From the ST archives: Female jogger found dead

The body of Ms Winnifred Teo Suan Lie was found in dense undergrowth along a deserted stretch of Holland Road on May 22, 1985. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

This article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 1985.

SINGAPORE - A schoolgirl who went jogging near her home was found stabbed to death beside a deserted stretch of Holland Road yesterday.

The naked body of Winnifred Teo Suan Lie, 18, was found in dense undergrowth about four metres from the road, nearly 1.5km from her home in Maryland Drive.

She had a stab wound in the neck and her hands were bound with her own T-shirt and brassiere when her mud-covered body was found by police combing the area at 11.30am.

Her pink jogging shoes, black shorts and watch were found nearby.

Police said Miss Teo, a Pre-University Two student of Catholic Junior College, had gone jogging at about 6pm on Wednesday.

When she did not return home, her mother reported to police at 4am.

Tanglin police, backed by a Police Task Force troop, carried out a pre-dawn search in the area before finding her body among some bushes six hours later.

Police, who believe Miss Teo was murdered between 6pm and 7pm on Wednesday, are investigating if she had been sexually assaulted.

A police spokesman stressed yesterday that every effort will be made to apprehend the killer or killers.

Miss Teo, the second of three children, lived in a two-storey house with her parents. Her father, company director Teo Joo Kim, was away in Munich on a business trip. He is due to return today.

Her elder sister, Martina, 20, is studying in Australia and her younger brother, Gerald, 16, is a student of St Joseph's Institution.

The stretch of Holland Road where Miss Teo was attacked is popular with joggers living in Maryland Estate, Bukit Timah and Sixth Avenue because it is quiet and relatively free of traffic.

Two brothers who were jogging along that stretch yesterday, Mr Chao Tah Jin, 20, a polytechnic graduate, and student Tar Wee, 16, of Sixth Avenue, said they had often seen girls jogging alone there.

Classmates shocked by news of her death

The brothers, who had been jogging there for a year, remembered often seeing Miss Teo jogging or cycling along Holland Road.

They described her as pretty, with long flowing hair. They said she usually wore pink jogging shoes and brief shorts.

Yesterday, Miss Teo's classmates were shocked to learn of her death when the news was broken to them by their principal, Brother Joseph Kiely, who had assembled them around lunchtime.

The vice-principal, Mr Thomas Ho, said: "The news numbed the students and many of them wept."

He said the school chaplain conducted a prayer service at the assembly and the students were allowed to go home early at 2.30pm.

Mr Louis Lim, a physical education teacher at Catholic Junior College, said of Miss Teo, who joined the school last year: "She was an outdoor type of girl who loved adventure camps. She was also an active student counsellor."

Her classmates described her as a very active and likeable student.

Father Keane, of the school, said Miss Teo attended the St Ignatius Church in King's Road regularly.

According to him, she had been jogging to prepare herself for an Outward Bound camp.

"She couldn't jog in school because of heavy schoolwork and had therefore to jog in the evening after school instead," he said.

He described her as a well-liked student.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.