5-year-old boy falls eight floors to his death from Woodlands office
Parents inadvertently left him sleeping in education centre when they went home after work
The couple sometimes took their two youngest sons to their education centre at Woodlands Close, especially when they did not have to conduct lessons during the weekend.
Last Saturday evening was no different, but when they finished up at their eighth-storey workplace and drove home, they inadvertently left behind their youngest boy, Soo Jia He, five, who had fallen asleep.
When they realised he was missing, his mother and brother rushed back to get him, but he was no longer in the centre.
They were shocked to see his body at the foot of the block.
Jia He, who had been left alone for just 10 minutes, is believed to have fallen from a window while trying to escape from the locked centre.
The police said they were alerted to the case of a fall from height at 11 Woodlands Close, an industrial building, at about 9pm.
Jia He was found lying motionless at the foot of the block and pronounced dead by paramedics.
The police are investigating the unnatural death.
The eldest sibling, who declined to give his full name, told The New Paper at their Woodlands home yesterday that Jia He and their mother were close.
"They sleep side-by-side together every day... My parents treat us all equally, just that I think they take extra care of him because he's the youngest," said Mr Soo, 19, who has another brother, 11, and a sister, 16.
Jia He was playful and was caring towards their mother, he added.
"For example, if our mum gets injured or something, she would tell him and he would blow on her wound and ask if she was going to get well soon."
He added: "My mum is devastated."
The mother, who wanted to be known only as Ms Hu, 44, told Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min Daily News at the morgue yesterday morning that she and her husband, 49, run an education centre together.
Jia He had fallen asleep on a mattress while they were finishing up some work, she added.
After they were done, the couple switched off the lights and locked up before the five-minute drive back to home.
Mr Soo said his other brother asked their parents about Jia He when they reached the carpark of their HBD block.
"When my mum and brother drove back to check, they couldn't find my youngest brother in the office.
"They were shouting his name. Then my mother realised that the window was open, so she realised something must have happened.
"As she was running downstairs, she saw the police were already there."
Ms Hu, who broke down while recounting the incident to Shin Min, said she believed that her son must have panicked when he woke up and could not find his parents in the pitch-black office.
She also believed that they might not have locked the windows properly when they left, which led to the tragedy.
The owner of a neighbouring unit at 11 Woodlands Close told TNP that the windows in the building are above chest height for an adult and are not difficult to open. There are no window grilles.
Revealing her deep guilt over the tragedy to Shin Min, Ms Hu said: "If only we had checked the office again, we would definitely have noticed our son.
"When he was sound asleep earlier, I wanted to let him sleep a bit more and could not bear to wake him up.
"I did not think that we would never see him again."