Last seen wearing a black blouse and a green skirt at Fusionpolis Walk on 11 July 2016, about 9.15 pm, 31-year-old engineer Cui Yajie stayed back to work that night but never returned home.
After two days of not showing up to work since 12 July 2016, her colleagues at semiconductor firm MediaTek lodge for a missing person report. They requested for information on social media on 15 July.
Police officers from Clementi Division and those from the Criminal Investigation Department and Police Intelligence Department would be led to then 48-year-old Leslie Khoo Kwee Hock from their investigations.
Leslie Khoo was arrested on 20 July 2016.
Ms Cui’s decomposed body would be found on 20th July 2016 in a forested area in Lim Chu Kang Lane 8 later that night.
There was nothing left except some hair, a brassiere hook and bits of charred fabric from her dress.
Leslie Khoo was charged for the murder of Ms Cui between 8 am and 10.11 am at Gardens by the Bay East in Marina Bay.
There would be multiple court hearings, one more on 28 July 2016 and another on 4 August 2016.
Ms Cui is a Chinese national from Tianjin who graduated from the University of Southampton in Britain and worked here for 4 years. She was described as a cheerful and warm person who made friends easily and was active in the Chinese expatriate community here.
So, what happened?
Leslie Khoo and Ms Cui’s relationship
Leslie Khoo and Ms Cui met some time in 2015, with Leslie claiming to be single, although he is married with a 12-year-old son.
He would also lie about being the owner of a laundry company Dryclyn Express, despite only being a retail outlet manager. Leslie also liked to drive around in a BMW, his wife’s car, even when he did not have a driver’s license.
Through the relationship, he managed to trick her into giving him S$20,000 for “gold investments”.
Two clips of Ms Cui yelling would reveal more of their relationship. One showed Ms Cui in a video call with Leslie Khoo, angry about him posting pictures with his wife on Facebook, but not of Ms Cui.
The other showed Ms Cui being filmed saying “Did I allow you to take a video of me?”
While Leslie Khoo would constantly deny their relationship, it was pointed out that Ms Cui wanted to have his children. He would claim that Ms Cui was the one who first asked him out for meals, to buy things for her, and even to deliver a gold chain, flowers and birthday cake to her office on her instruction.
Day of the murder
The real reason for this isn’t quite clear (TODAYonline says Ms Cui wants to speak to Leslie’s bosses, CNA says it is for Leslie to prove his hectic life), but Leslie would drive Ms Cui to his workplace, only to drive her to Gardens by the Bay instead.
He then strangled her to death when they began quarrelling in the car. Leaving her body in the car overnight, Leslie brought her body to a deserted road along Lim Chu Kang Lane 8 and burnt it for the next 3 nights.
He discarded her belongings in Orchid Country Club, taking S$30 from her wallet, cutting up her credit cards and throwing her ashes into the sea.
But this isn’t the first time Leslie Khoo committed a crime.
He had spent six months in jail in 2004 after being convicted of criminal breach of trust and was sent to jail for another 16 months in 2011 for a similar offence.
In 2012, Mr Khoo was featured in The New Paper for his work as a volunteer who delivered hampers to the needy before Christmas, together with his wife.