Legless body murder: Two men held, legs found in cemetery
Legs found in cemetery
Equipped with torches, they combed the forested area at the Muslim Cemetery near the junction by Jalan Kubor and Rochor Canal Road yesterday.
An hour later, at around 8.30pm, The New Paper caught a glimpse of what the police officers were searching for - a pair of human legs, from the thighs down to the feet.
They are believed to have been severed from a man whose legless body was found in a suitcase at Syed Alwi Road on Wednesday.
The police later confirmed the discovery of a pair of legs. This followed the arrests of two Pakistani men, aged 25 and 43, at Rowell Road in Little India at 3pm.
Classifying the case as murder, they said the victim is believed to be a Pakistani man, 59. The suspects are expected to be charged in court tomorrow.
A suitcase similar to the one which contained the legless body was recovered from the cemetery.
The cemetery is about a 10-minute walk from where the body was found on Wednesday.
The cemetery, about the size of two basketball courts, is overgrown with foliage amid the hundreds of crumbling tombstones.
A few HDB blocks are located about 200m away, but residents said the whole stretch of Jalan Kubor is usually deserted and they often avoid walking near the area.
Miss Soffina Elmelda Sufian, 19, who lives in Block 25, said that in her four years living there, she had never seen anyone entering the cemetery.
With a shudder, she said in Malay: "It's very dark inside and very spooky. I've never gone there either."
Security guard Yusri Mohd Yasin, 40, who lives in the neighbourhood, said: "I walk past when I return home from work at around 9pm and it's always quiet there."
Shin Min Daily News reported that the police had made checks at Mustafa Centre about two men earlier yesterday.
The department store's hardware department supervisor, Mr Rajasekar, 55, told the Chinese evening daily that the police went to his department at about 11am with a picture of two men.
He recognised the older man in the picture because the man had bought an electric saw there on Wednesday morning.
He said the incident stuck out because it was about 9am and there were hardly any customers and the store sold only one electric saw that day.
After paying $119 for the saw, the man took it back to his counter to check if it was working properly, Mr Rajasekar said.
Shin Min said that police officers in plainclothes were seen checking CCTV footage in the store. Mr Rajasekar identified a man in the footage as the younger man in the police picture.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations & Intelligence) concurrent Director of the Criminal Investigation Department Hoong Wee Teck said: "This is a serious crime which the police had devoted extensive resources and efforts to have it solved expeditiously."
I walk past when I come home from work at around 9pm and it's always quiet there.
- Security guard Mr Yusri Mohd Yasin, 40
Investigations carried out at lodging house
INQUIRIES: One of the suspects.
INQUIRIES: The room at the boarding house where police officers were seen.
The lodging house, which was along a row of shophouses at Rowell Road, was dimly lit and dingy.
This was where one of the suspects in the legless body murder is believed to have been staying until he was arrested yesterday afternoon.
The police carried out investigations in the room beside the kitchen on the second storey, while the suspect, a Pakistani man, was held outside in a van.
Of the eight rooms and three toilets on the second storey, the room, located at the end of a narrow corridor, was the only one isolated.
Following the investigations, the room was emptied, leaving just a double-decker bed and a desk.
A guest who had been staying there for two days said: "People come and go, we never see anyone long enough for us to remember."
The tourist, who is from Punjab in India, said he was shocked when he returned to the lodging house at about 5pm yesterday.
He saw at least eight police officers in the room and was stopped from using the toilet.
"They said no one could go to the toilet or anywhere near the kitchen till they were done."
Guests said the lodging house charges tourists from India $50 a night and most are businessmen.
Although most of the hotel guests were Pakistani, there was a group of Punjabi men cooking curry and pakoras (Indian snacks) for dinner.
They were not aware of what was going on, but the police presence alerted them that something was not right.
"I saw the police, but I didn't know what exactly happened. I don't even know what he (the suspect) looked like," said Mr Devandran, a businessman staying there. - DARISHINI THIYAGARAJAN
Residents heard scream but too scared to check
Earlier yesterday, before two suspects were arrested for the murder of a Pakistani man, residents at Kitchener Road were speculating if an incident on Wednesday evening was connected to the legless body found in a suitcase.
A resident of Block 2, Kitchener Road, about 300m from where the suitcase was found, said he heard a scream coming from the block at around 5pm on Wednesday.
The resident, who wanted to be known only as Mr Mohammad, said a woman screamed for at least three seconds.
His wife, Madam Siti, said: "It was so loud that it woke our two children from their nap."
The scream was so shrill that Mr Mohammad, a club bouncer, and his wife, both 30, were afraid to check the source.
They did not call the police as they were not sure what it might have been about.
About two hours later, police officers showed up at their flat and asked the couple about one of their neighbours.
Investigations were also being carried out at the foot of the block.
Mr Mohammad, who went down to have a look at about 9.30pm, said the area had been cordoned off. He said he saw coin-sized splatters of blood on the ground.
But he could not find out what the investigations were about.
Meanwhile, an economy rice stall helper claimed that he had seen the suitcase as early as 1.30pm on Wednesday, about 4½ hours before the body was discovered.
Wanting to be known only as Mr Lim, he said he saw the upright suitcase on the footpath in front of Rehau Building, a couple of metres from its final location.
Mr Lim, 45, said he even touched it lightly as it was obstructing his way. He did not notice any blood on it.
He said: "It was brand new, but the handle was slightly broken. I am sure it is the same one." - DEREK WONG