Woman missing for over a week found by alert stranger

Ms Charmaine Teo Xiu Hui, 32, went missing on Nov 21. She was spotted loitering at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on Nov 29 by a passer-by. PHOTOS: MS LAW/SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - A 32-year-old woman who was reported missing by her friend last Tuesday (Nov 21) has been found by an eagle-eyed man, eight days after she left her home in Woodlands with a small bag.

Ms Charmaine Teo, who lived with her friend's family, was spotted loitering at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on Wednesday evening (Nov 29) by Mr Yoon Wai Lam, a speech therapist who works at the hospital.

Mr Yoon, 40, told The Straits Times that he was leaving work around 4.30pm on Wednesday when he saw her seated on a sofa at the hospital.

"I thought I'd seen her somewhere before," he said. He recognised her from the Facebook posts about her going missing and went online again to double check. When he saw the news about Ms Teo, he confirmed that it was indeed the right person and called the police.

Ms Teo, who previously worked at a call centre, had lived with her friend and former polytechnic schoolmate after becoming estranged from her family 12 years ago.

The friend, who wants to be known only as Ms Law, had turned to social media for help in locating Ms Teo. Her Facebook post, made on Nov 22, has been shared more than 4,500 times.

Ms Law told ST on Thursday that she was thankful for all the help she had received from strangers.

"I can't find any words to express how grateful I am for all of them," she said. "They are strangers but they helped in finding her - it just makes me feel so touched. I am totally thankful for everything."

Ms Teo was taken in by the police, who referred her to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Ms Law said.

The police had sent out a missing person notice on Friday (Nov 24). It has since been taken down from the Singapore Police Force's website as she has been found.

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