Singapore

'Depressed' woman who left home suddenly sparks big police search

Depressed over sister's death, woman suddenly leaves Sengkang flat, sparking police search

A woman, believed to be depressed over her sister's death, left her home without her mother's knowledge, sparking a big police search for her in Sengkang.

Neighbours reported seeing at least half a dozen police vehicles and as many as 30 officers arriving in the area at about 4pm on Tuesday. It is believed that the police dog unit was also involved.

The woman was eventually found crying at the void deck of Block 152, about five minutes' walk from Block 183B, Rivervale Crescent, where she lives with her mother and elder brother.

Her mother had heard her muttering: "Jie Jie (Mandarin for big sister), can I follow you?"

Police said a 41-year-old woman was subsequently arrested for attempted suicide. Investigations are ongoing.

HUNT:  During the search, police officers took away two packages believed to contain a hairpin and a pillow belonging to Miss Tan, according to Lianhe Wanbao. (Above) Police anti-riot vehicles were seen at the scene. Miss Tan was eventually found crying at the void deck of Block 152, Rivervale Crescent. PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO, CHOO XIN HUI

The woman's mother, Mrs Molly Tan, 67, a housewife, told The New Paper last night that her daughter, Miss Tan, 41, had been miserable since the death of her 45-year-old sister.

The two were inseparable and were always seen together, she said. Neighbours even mistook them for twins.

The elder sister died of an asthma attack several months ago.

HUNT: During the search, police officers took away two packages believed to contain a hairpin and a pillow (circled) belonging to Miss Tan, according to Lianhe Wanbao. Police anti-riot vehicles were seen at the scene. Miss Tan was eventually found crying at the void deck of (Above) Block 152, Rivervale Crescent. PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO, CHOO XIN HUI

The death was a huge blow to Miss Tan, who became depressed.

Said Mrs Tan: "She was very miserable when her sister died. She just lost her father about a year ago and then her sister.

"My eldest daughter was a very good sister and daughter. She loved her brothers and sisters very much.

"Since she was young, the elder sister would look after Miss Tan, cook and give her money, if she had any."

A neighbour, who gave her name only as Ms Sonia, 34, a housewife, added: "Miss Tan was always pushing her sister in a wheelchair. They were very close."

CUT HER WRIST

Mrs Tan said that on Tuesday, her daughter cut her wrist. Miss Tan then left her flat.

Said Mrs Tan, who has 10 children: "She secretly left. I tried to search for her, but I couldn't find her. My second son came over to help look for her too.

"I was worried that she would do something silly."

A neighbour called the police, Mrs Tan said.

Neighbours told TNP that they saw many police vehicles and officers at the scene.

Secondary 3 student Ernesto Balili, 16, said: "I was studying for a test in the living room. When I heard sirens, I looked out of the window and saw there were five red vans.

"There were a lot of police cars too, including an SUV (sport utility vehicle) and two sedans.

"I also saw more than 10 uniformed officers. They were standing around and some were looking at their phones."

Another neighbour, Madam Jasmine Lam, said she saw the police take a police dog up to a flat.

Said the 56-year-old housewife: "The dog went up to smell her scent. The dog then led the policemen to the next block."

Madam Lam, who had gone downstairs for a walk at about 6pm, said she saw about 20 to 30 officers.

She said: "This was the first time there was such a big hoo-ha. We thought there was a murder. We were waiting for somebody to come down. But we grew tired after some time and left."

Mrs Tan later told TNP that her daughter is in hospital.

She said: "She's fine now and very good. I'm very happy.

"She even told my son to tell me that she is fine."

Helplines

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) (24 hours)

1800-221-4444

Singapore Association for Mental Health

1800-283-7019

Touch Counselling & Social Support

6709-8400

Care Corner Counselling Centre (only in Mandarin)

1800-353-5800

Mental Health Helpline 
(24 hours)

6389-2222

Singapore Police ForceMissing Persondepressedsuicide