Maid arrested over death of elderly woman in Tampines

The maid, seen here with police on Monday, will be charged in court today with murder.
The maid, seen here with police on Monday, will be charged in court today with murder.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

An Indonesian maid was arrested yesterday for the alleged murder of a 77-year-old woman.

Police said she will be charged in court today with murder.

The elderly woman, identified as Madam Tay Quee Lang, was found dead in the living room of her fifth- floor flat in Block 276, Tampines Street 22, on Monday afternoon.

When The Straits Times approached Madam Tay's family members at the flat yesterday, they declined to comment.

There was a wake set up at the block, but the body had not arrived.

A few hours later, police were seen carrying a mannequin made out of fabric and wearing women's clothes into the home. It is believed that it was used to help re-enact what had happened.

When approached, an officer said they were doing "some work", and that the family had left.

Madam Tay, who had to use a wheelchair after a fall last year, lived in the flat with her husband, Mr Tan Hee Seng, who is in his 70s.

Their maid was the only other person in the flat at the time of the incident.

Police said they received a call for assistance at about 2.10pm on Monday. Paramedics later pronounced Madam Tay dead at the scene.

The maid was seen leaving with police officers at about 6pm to assist in investigations, and Madam's Tay's body was taken away at about 7pm.

Neighbours said the maid had been with the couple for about a month and was heard screaming shortly after the incident.

A neighbour who lives on the same floor, engineer Ashaari Hasan Basri, told The Straits Times that he had called the police after hearing the maid's cries for help.

The 28-year-old said: "She was crying and shouting 'Ah Ma' (Hokkien for grandmother) from inside the unit, so I rushed over... She looked lost and only told me that 'Ah Ma' had slashed herself with a knife."

Mr Ashaari said he peered through a window of the four-room unit and saw Madam Tay slumped on a wheelchair facing him.

She appeared to have a bloodied knife lodged in her throat, he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2017, with the headline 'Maid arrested over death of elderly woman in Tampines'. Print Edition | Subscribe