Man suspected of 'unlawful killing' after domestic helper wife found dead: State Coroner

SINGAPORE - The decomposed body of a domestic helper was found in a Tampines Road forested area on Sept 6 last year - three days after her employers made a missing person report.

Ms Jonalyn Alvarez Raviz's body also had a ligature around the neck which had been tied to a small tree.

In an inquiry on Tuesday (Aug 27) into the death of the 34-year-old Filipina, investigation officer (IO) Desmond Ng said the police have classified the case as a murder and her Bangladeshi husband, Mr Raju Dhaly, is a suspect.

Assistant Superintendent Ng also told State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam that Mr Raju left Singapore for Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, on Sept 3 last year and is now at large.

State Coroner Kamala, who found Ms Raviz's death to be an "unlawful killing likely perpetrated by her husband", said the Filipina died of a "compressive neck injury".

It could possibly be caused by strangulation, said the investigating officer.

The state coroner also said that Raju's sudden departure was unexplained and that a warrant for his arrest had been issued.

Ms Raviz was employed here as a maid between February 2010 and November 2011 before leaving to work in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Mr Raju, a process maintenance worker, had been working in Singapore since 2007.

The pair got married in 2015 and she returned to work as a maid here the following year.

Her employer told investigators Ms Raviz had told her she was in an unhappy marriage.

Said State Coroner Kamala: "This was because the husband was abusive and often took away all of her salary. Ms Raviz had also informed her employer that she intended to end the marriage as she had caught her husband having extramarital affairs on multiple occasions in the past."

Ms Raviz had also said she wanted to return to the Philippines in mid-September last year, without informing Mr Raju.

Her employer also said Ms Raviz told her in June 2018 that her husband had threatened to kill her if she decided to leave him, the state coroner noted.

The employer alerted Mr Raju's company about his threat.

 

On Sept 2 last year, the Filipina left her employer's Pasir Ris flat around 8.30am and closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, which was played in court on Tuesday, showed her at Pasir Ris Bus Interchange with her husband around 9am.

State Coroner Kamala said: "After meeting her husband, they spent the day together. Ez-link screenings subsequently revealed they had boarded a public bus in the direction of Tampines Road. Thereafter, Ms Raviz was found to have alighted at the bus stop along Tampines Road, before Defu Lane 2, at 4.17 pm."

Around 5pm, Mr Raju took a taxi from Defu Lane 1 to his dormitory in Jalan Papan near Jurong Port Road.

He left the dormitory later that evening, bought a plane ticket to Bangladesh and left Singapore around 5.30am the next day.

Ms Raviz's body was found on Sept 6 among some thick vegetation about 5m from the main footpath in Tampines Road.