Suspect in Bishan Murder Reportedly Kept Asking for Money As She Claimed to be a Scam Victim

You’ve probably heard of the case where a 49-year-old domestic helper murdered her 73-year-old employer by now.

And if you haven’t, here’s what you need to know first, followed by the latest update regarding the case.

What Happened

On 28 April, the wife of the deceased, whose surname is Li, told Shin Min Daily News that the gate of her HDB flat was unlocked when she returned home.

She also mentioned that the unit, located at Blk 222 Bishan Street 23, was pitch dark inside, with no lights switched on.

When Li, who is in her 60s, entered the bedroom to find her husband, she saw him lying on the bed.

By then, rigour mortis had already set in. His body was cold to the touch and his hands were raised halfway.

Petrified by the sight, Lee ran over to her neighbour’s flat to ask for help. She also called the police, as well as her daughter.

The neighbour also confirmed this to Shin Min, describing how Li looked extremely distraught. Li also asked her neighbour if she saw the family’s domestic helper.

The neighbour, a 67-year-old woman, also said that she went back to Li’s flat with her, and that she caught sight of the victim’s body as well.

She brought up how there was no blood on the victim’s body, and also talked about how she had been neighbours with Li and her late husband for a long time. She also affirmed that they were friendly.

Domestic Helper Apparently Asked Employer for Money

Even though the suspect, their Indonesian helper Sumiyati, performed well when she first started working for Li and her husband, that soon changed.

She was employed by the couple a little more than two years ago, and was supposed to return to Indonesia after the end of her contract, which was in September this year. However, Sumiyati started asking Li for money constantly at the beginning of this year.

Li recounted how Sumiyati told her that she was a victim of a scam, and needed money.

Although Li initially refused to give her the money, Sumiyati’s salary was raised to $700 in the end.

Another neighbour also recalled that Li complained to her previously about the problems that Li was facing with her helper, and also mentioned that she had given Sumiyati a $50 raise.

In response to that, the neighbour told Li that she need not be fearful of Sumiyati, and that as employers they could just terminate her employment.

Background of Employers

According to the neighbour who went to Li’s flat with her, the victim was an engineer. After retiring, he became a taxi driver to earn some income.

Based on reports, the victim’s name is Low Hoon Cheong.

The neighbour also added that Low’s health condition deteriorated roughly five years ago, and he eventually needed the help of a wheelchair to get around. He started using a wheelchair around two years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic first started.

Li also shared with Shin Min that her husband had a nerve issue, which prompted the family to hire a domestic helper in order to help him with his daily activities.

Shin Min also reported that the couple were married for almost 40 years, and that her husband’s demise has affected Li gravely.

Li mentioned on Saturday (30 April) that the thought of her husband no longer being around makes her still “feel like crying”.

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Helper Appeared in Court 

Sumiyati appeared in court on Saturday (30 April) and was charged with murdering her employer.

It was revealed that she had murdered the victim between 4 to 8.46pm on Thursday (28 April).

According to the reports by Shin Min, she was expressionless while in court and her chest-length hair looked slightly unkempt,

She only nodded her head when responding to the judge’s statements.

If convicted of murder, Sumiyati will face the death penalty.

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