Bedok Reservoir dead bodies due to suicide?

A follow up to this post, "Bedok Reservoir dead bodies...". Possible suicide has been considered as both the mother's & son's fingernails were painted red (See, it's a Chinese belief that when someone commits suicide while dressed in red, the person will return as a vengeful spirit). What saddens me most is the irony that the mother of Mdm Tan Sze Sze is actually a part-time fortune teller, yet she couldn't foresee the tragedy...

THE bodies of a woman and her young son were found floating in Bedok Reservoir yesterday morning, three days after they were last seen in Clementi Central.

The bodies of housewife Tan Sze Sze, 32, and her three-year-old son, Jerald Chin, were said to have been found by PUB officers.

Police were notified of the find at about 7am and paramedics pronounced them dead about 15 minutes later. The police have classified the case as unnatural death and investigations are ongoing.

Madam Tan and her son were both dressed in red tops, the same clothes they were wearing when they went missing. She is said to have been hugging her son when their bodies were found. Their fingernails were also painted red.

According to The New Paper, it is a Chinese belief that when someone commits suicide while dressed in red, the person will return as a vengeful spirit.

The pair were last seen by Madam Tan's mother, Madam Teo Guek Lai, 53, at the latter's workplace in Clementi Central on Tuesday morning.

Madam Tan had told her mother that she was going to leave this world when they met.

Later that day, Madam Teo called her daughter on her mobile phone. They had a short conversation before the line was cut, and Madam Tan became uncontactable.

In that last conversation, Madam Teo had tried to dissuade her daughter from committing suicide.

Madam Tan then told her mother: "Do you think that I am so bored that I will joke about this? I will definitely die today."

She also told her mother that it would be the last time she could hear her voice.

Madam Teo told my paper that her daughter had been distraught over marital problems, which involved an impending divorce and custody battle for Jerald.

She had also become increasingly short-tempered and irritable over the past year, The New Paper said. Madam Tan told her mother that life was becoming too much of a torture.

Madam Tan was said to have lived with her mother at a flat in French Road, near the Jalan Besar Stadium, while her husband, Mr Willy Chin, lives at his mother's flat in Tiong Bahru. Mr Chin is said to work as a chef in a Japanese restaurant.

The New Paper said the couple were married in 2006 after two years of courtship, but lived separately for most of the marriage.

The relationship became strained when Madam Tan found a condom in Mr Chin's car.

Sometime last year, Madam Tan allowed her husband to take Jerald home. However, the child returned with a bleeding nose.

Madam Teo said: "The bleeding did not stop for two days, so something serious must have happened. Willy just brushed it off."

Madam Tan then refused to allow Jerald to visit his grandmother and father in Tiong Bahru.

He was only allowed to see his father near their home in the presence of Madam Tan's sister or her mother.

Mr Chin then applied through the courts to gain access to him. A court notice was served to Madam Tan on Sunday.

According to The New Paper, when the court officers visited their flat to serve the notice, Madam Tan grabbed Jerald and crouched in a corner, repeatedly saying that she was afraid.

Madam Tan's sister, Ms Celeste Tan, 30, said: "She was very shaken after a court officer visited her to serve the notice. She had lost all hope."

Despite all that happened, Madam Tan refused to divorce her husband even after her family advised her to grant his request for a divorce.

This is the second instance of bodies being found in Bedok Reservoir this year.

In June, the lower half of the body of 23-year-old Chinese national Lin Xiao was found floating in the reservoir.

From Asiaone, "Bodies of woman and son found in reservoir".

A woman and her three-year-old son were found dead in Bedok Reservoir early yesterday, two days after they were reported missing by their family.

Officers from national water agency PUB found the bodies at about 6am.

It is understood that Tan Sze Sze, 32, was cradling her toddler, Jerald Chin.

Tan's mother, who saw the bodies, said they were joined by red string at their wrists, wore red T-shirts and both mother and son's fingernails were painted red. According to Chinese belief, red in death symbolizes revenge.

Just before she went missing on Tuesday, Tan had told her mother, Madam Teo Guek Lai, that she planned to kill herself and take her child with her.

Madam Teo, 53, said Tan had a history of post-natal depression and she became increasingly upset after being embroiled in a bitter custody battle with her estranged husband, chef Willy Chin.

Madam Teo said her daughter had been fined for not allowing her husband access to Jerald and worried that she would be jailed if she could not pay up.

"She was afraid that Jerald would be snatched from her," she said in Mandarin. "Her son was her life."

Madam Teo added that her daughter was introverted by nature and easily depressed, and that she was extremely protective of her son, whom she called "Baby".

Tan lived with her mother, a part-time fortune-teller, and four other family members in a one-room rental flat in French Road in the Lavender area. She was unemployed and lived on her mother's Central Provident Fund savings as well as a $300 monthly allowance from her husband.

Madam Teo said her daughter had spoken of suicide several times in recent months.

On Tuesday, Madam Teo was at work in Clementi Central when her daughter arrived with Jerald and cried inconsolably, saying she was a disappointment and unable to protect her son.

"I told her not to be crazy," said Madam Teo.

After they left, Tan switched off her mobile phone. When the family could not reach her, they called the police, who released a missing persons statement to the media at about 7pm on Wednesday.

Family members found Tan's house keys in the mailbox, as well as a box of documents that included a suicide note and instructions on what to do after her death.

In the box was the namecard of undertaker Roland Tay, who had handled her father's funeral three years ago, and a photo album.

The dead woman's family alleged that her relationship with her husband soured about two years ago and she had initiated divorce proceedings.

Neighbors said that Chin would come to the flat every week for more than a year, pleading to see his son. They added that, often, the door would stay shut, or Tan would chase him away with a slipper and swear at him.

Supermarket assistant Goh Hee Kiow, 59, said she had seen Chin waiting outside the flat with a bag of diapers for the child. "Sometimes he would squat by the door and call the boy's name," she said in Mandarin.

Madam Goh added that the last time she saw Chin was in the early hours of Wednesday morning, when he came with the police.

No one answered the door when The Straits Times visited Chin's home in Jalan Bukit Merah last night, although the lights inside were on.

Consultant psychiatrist Ang Yong Guan said that it is not uncommon for post-natal depression to last three years after a birth, especially if the mother was not receiving support from her husband.

"If the personality is lonely, pessimistic, a worrier, the post-natal depression can last very long. Marital problems also prolong it," said Ang.

Police have classified the deaths as unnatural, and are investigating.

From Jakarta Post, "Mother, Son Found Dead in Singapore's Bedok Reservoir".


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