Indonesian maid arrested after Singapore baby strangled to death

The child's grandparents talk about the troubles their son and daughter-in-law have been going through.

Singapore police have arrested a 30-year-old woman after a one-year-old baby under her care was found dead in its parent's apartment.

The alleged crime took place in a flat at Block 225, Simei Street 4 on May 8, police said. Indonesian maid Maryani Usman Utar, who is accused of strangling her employer's child, has been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The cahrgesheet says the woman, who came to work in Singapore as a maidservant last January, punched the child on her neck gripped "tightly with all (her) strength until she stopped crying, with the knowledge that such acts were likely to cause her death".

The parents of the child took her to the Changi general hospital where she was pronounced dead. The child, who has been named Richelle Teo, was found motionless in the flat with bruise marks on the neck.

The child's head and her lips had turned black, local Chinese media reported citing the grandmother of the child.

Meanwhile, AsiaOne reported that the child's grandparents talked about the troubles their son and daughter-in-law were going through.

The child's father, Teo Kok Eng, had sought financial help online stating that his wife was suffering from schizophrenia.

Both the husband and wife were unemployed for a time until Teo got back in job on a three-month contract recently.

Grandfather of Richelle, Zhang Xiongkun, told Chinese Shin Min daily that his daughter-in-law was 'mentally disturbed'.

Zhang said his son found the baby on its bed with bruises on head and neck. "My daughter-in-law and my four-year-old grandson were out then and the maid wasn't at home,' Zhang said.

The baby's father reportedly tried contacting the maid for several hours but without success. Eventually she was picked up by the police from Marina Bay.

The maid faces a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine if convicted of committing culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Related topics : Singapore crime