SINGAPORE — For more than five years, the killing of two-year-old Umaisyah went undiscovered until her uncle opened a pot under the kitchen stove.
Her remains were found in the pot, charred beyond recognition.
Her father was on Tuesday (Sept 19) sentenced to 21-and-a-half years in jail and 18 strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to her killing.
He also admitted to rioting, ill-treating his stepson and taking a specified drug.
The 35-year-old Singaporean cannot be named due to gag orders which also cover the identity of his wife and where the killing occurred, to protect the surviving victims.
Here is a timeline of events, according to court documents.
November 2011: Umaisyah, who was only three to four months old, was placed in foster care as her father was detained in a drug rehabilitation centre and her mother was assessed to be unable to take care of her.
June 18, 2012: The couple got married. They had four children, including Umaisyah. The mother had a daughter and a son from her previous marriage.
March 2013: The man started abusing his stepson. He would hit him with a belt, a hanger or his hand, slapping and punching the boy.
June 1, 2013: Umaisyah was returned to the care and custody of her father and mother. She often cried and was not comfortable with her parents as she was not familiar with them.
Her father would hit her with a belt and hanger, slap her face and leg, cane her palm, punch her thigh and pinch her.
July and August 2013: Umaisyah’s foster mother visited the girl. She noticed that Umaisyah had lost weight, become more withdrawn and was less communicative.
March 2014: Umaisyah’s parents became upset with her as she was playing with her faeces after soiling her diaper. After she started crying, the woman slapped her cheek and flicked her lips.
Her father, who had taken methamphetamine, slapped her face. Umaisyah’s legs went weak and her body started to lean to the right. She started gasping for air and suffered a seizure.
After she stopped breathing, her father performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on her but she did not respond. Her parents did not seek medical help after she died.
The couple tried to cover their tracks — they placed her body in a metal pot and set her body on fire. After that, they placed the pot in a cardboard box and sealed it with masking tape and cling film.
They lied about her whereabouts, claiming to some that she had returned to her foster parents and to others that she was being taken care of by her father’s aunt in Melaka.
Oct 25, 2016: The man was admitted to a drug rehabilitation centre for consumption of methamphetamine. It is his second stint in a drug rehabilitation centre after he was admitted in January 2011.
Mid-2017: Umaisyah’s uncle tried to throw the box away as there were cockroach eggs in the cling wrap.
Her mother wrapped it with new cling film and warned him not to touch it again.
November 2017: Father is released after his second stint in the drug rehabilitation centre. He had become estranged from his wife and no longer lived in the flat.
December 2017: An officer from the Ministry of Education contacted Umaisyah’s parents in December 2017 to check why she had not registered for Primary 1. Umaisyah would have been six years old and should have been registered to start primary school in January 2018.
Her mother lied that the girl had been taken away by her father, whom she was estranged from. Her father lied to the officer that the girl had been taken care of by his parents in Malaysia for the past three years and that he was unaware of her whereabouts.
February 2018: Father absconded and failed to report to Lloyd Leas Community Supervision Centre.
April 5, 2018: While on the run, the 35-year-old man committed an offence of rioting. He was arrested six days later on April 11, 2018, before being charged in court on April 13, 2018.
He was remanded until April 20, 2018 for further investigations into the rioting offence before he was released on bail.
May 11, 2018: The man failed to turn up for a mention in State Courts, and a warrant of arrest against him was issued.
June 19, 2018: The man was arrested and he was found to have taken methamphetamine.
August 2019: Umaisyah’s uncle moved back into the flat while his sister — Umaisyah’s mother — was in prison.
He removed the cling wrap and opened the pot, finding a lump of black object that looked decomposed. When he told his sister about this, she told him to put the pot back under the stove and warned him against touching it.
Sept 9, 2019: The uncle showed his sister’s friends the contents of the pot after they went to the flat with him. They felt uneasy about seeing the burnt items in the pot.
Sept 10, 2019: The friends reported the matter to the police.
Sept 19, 2023: The man is sentenced to 21-and-a-half years’ jail and 18 strokes of the cane. CNA
For more reports like this, visit cna.asia.