On 16 November, a 50-year-old man, Caleb Joshua Chai Shanmugam, was arrested for allegedly killing his business partner, 27-year-old Rachael Ang Yi Qing.
On 18 November, he was charged with murder.
The victim was found dead in a Beach Road coffee shop on 13 November after the police were alerted to a case of unnatural death.
Suspect’s Wife Reported Him to the Police
After killing his business partner, Chai Shanmugam confessed to his wife about his deed.
Shortly after, on 13 November, his wife reported him to the police, and thus began the investigations.
Mr Chai is represented by lawyers Suang Wijaya and Sophia Ng from Eugene Thuraisingam law firm.
Ms Ng told the media that Mr Chai has been charged with murder on 18 November at Singapore General Hospital.
As for his wife, neighbours reported that they saw her being escorted out of their home on 13 November.
It was said that she was carrying at least three big bags of items.
The Investigation Process
“[Mr Chai and his wife] would water their flowers outside their flat daily, but I haven’t seen them watering the flowers for a week now.”
The interviewees also said that between the dates of 12 November and 13 November, many were knocking on the suspect’s door, including two police officers.
The same two officers were also asking neighbours if they had seen the suspect.
“They said they hadn’t been able to contact him, and said someone was missing.”
On 9 November at 7pm, Ang texted her mother saying she would be home for dinner, but around 7:22pm on the same day, she sent another message saying she would not be home.
After that, she became uncontactable.
When she did not return home at night, friends and family became more worried and took to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to gather others’ help in locating her.
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Unfortunately, they were still unable to receive any information and she hence was reported missing to the police.
Suspect’s Fleeing Attempt
On the lam.
On 16 November 2022, the police identified the 50-year-old man who fled to Johor on 10 November 2022. Working together with the Royal Malaysia Police, Mr Chai was detained in Malaysia on 15 November before being handed over to Singapore’s authorities.
Responding to the way Mr Chai fled to Malaysia after the crime, the police stated, “The Singapore authorities will do whatever is necessary and permissible under our laws to pursue and bring to justice those who commit crimes in Singapore, regardless of where they might have fled to.
“We will also not hesitate to take firm action against them.”
Prior to his escape to Johor, he had turned on the air conditioning in the shop to slow down the decomposition of the body.
Lianhe Zaobao reported that Ang was found with no lacerations on her body, but could have been beaten to death.
Family and Neighbours
Ms Ang’s older brother told reporters that everything happened so quickly, it was hard for the family to truly make sense of her death.
“The police are still investigating, and we still don’t know how it happened… We won’t speculate.”
Ms Ang’s mother similarly refused to be interviewed, saying, “My daughter has already left this earth, talking about it won’t change anything [about this situation].”
On the other hand, Mr Chai’s neighbours are also in shock at how they were living next to an alleged murderer.
A neighbour who did not want to be named said that she saw the photos of Mr Chai published in the news recently, and realised that that person looked exactly like their neighbour.
“The business partner that [the deceased’s family and friends] mentioned also had the same name as my neighbour, which made me realise the suspect is really [Mr Chai].”
Zaobao spoke to four male tenants staying in the residential unit above their shop.
The tenants said that they only knew about the death case after the police dropped by on 13 November.
They expressed their condolences to the deceased and bought offerings to pay respect to her after the police left on 13 November.
Mr Chai is a co-director of Ms Ang’s company, Smart Click Services Pte Ltd, which is a hardware store that provides repair services.
Their social media and website label themselves as a professional home makeover service, offering renovation, air-conditioning services, painting, and even graphic design.
They even have a bunch of products listed on their website, including air-fryers, microwaves, rice cookers, kettles, air conditioners, fans, washing machines and fridges. All of the products are listed under a brand named Midea, which is based in China.
Although the company is registered at Peninsula Plaza, they appear to have a DIY shop at Beach Road, which was established on 23 October.
Ms Ang’s body was found at a coffee shop at Beach Road as well.
Which, of course, leads to a burning question: Why was her body found in a coffeeshop when Mr Chai had allegedly left her body to decompose in the shop?
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Featured Image: Facebook (Smart Click Services Pte Ltd) & Instagram (sgfollowsall)
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