Missing girl is believed to be dead, says cops
By TEH ENG HOCK – Originally published in The Star on Friday May 26, 2006.
JOHOR BARU: “I hope it’s a mistake,” said chef Lo Boo Chuan, tears flowing down his cheeks when police informed him that DNA tests confirmed that the skeletal remains found in Senai early this month were that of his missing eight-year-old daughter Ching Poon.
Ching Poon went missing from her home exactly a month ago and her family had clung on to hope that she would be found safe, their ordeal made worse by the recent news of the kidnap-cum-murder of seven-year-old Ho Ping.
Ho Ping was taken from his house in Subang Jaya, Selangor, and his body was found stuffed in a suitcase in Sungai Sitiawan, Perak, last Sunday.
Lo, 36, was getting ready for the dinner crowd when police broke the news to him at 6.30pm yesterday at his workplace in Woodlands,
“I dropped everything and rushed home. I still cannot believe it,” he said. Ching Poon’s remains were found on May 6 in a drain near the entrance of Senai Technology Park, but the DNA results were only out yesterday.
The atmosphere was grim at the Lo residence in Taman Johor Jaya last night. Ching Poon’s three brothers, aged between nine and 14, were expressionless as they watched the TV.
Their mother Lee Choon Huay was still in Singapore at press time.
Even while the family grieves, Lo still got prank messages on his hand phone telling him to meet at a certain place if he wants information on his daughter’s whereabouts.
“I can still picture her, playing with her favourite Mickey Mouse doll, or sketching. She loved to do those things,” said Ching Poon’s grandmother who declined to be named.
“She loved wan tan mee,” said the old lady. Then she cursed the girl’s murderer.
The main suspect, a man named Martin whom Ching Poon’s mother befriended, surrendered himself last Friday after police announced in the newspapers that he was wanted in connection with the missing girl. He is under remand till May 30.
It was reported that Lee got to know Martin through a newspaper advertisement and had communicated with him via SMS for a year.
Following Ching Poon’s disappearance, 650 cabbies in the state joined in the search effort by putting up pictures of the missing girl on their taxis.
Meanwhile, Johor MCA Complaints Bureau chief Low Teh Hian extended his condolences to the family. “We will help the family in any way possible,” he said.
State police CID chief SAC II Datuk Abdul Rahim Jaafar said he would release an official statement today.
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