Nearly 26 years after a seven-year-old girl in Singapore was raped and murdered in 1995, the family of the victim is seeking the public's help.
The family is hoping the public can come forward with fresh leads or information previously not revealed that they can take to the police to reopen this cold case, and find closure.
The killer was never found.
Why is the family appealing for help now?
The family, with the help of Crime Library Singapore, a non-profit organisation whose stated mission is to promote crime awareness and prevention, organised a meeting with the media in Toa Payoh on Jan. 10, 2021 to make a public appeal.
Who was the victim?
The victim is Lim Shiow Rong.
She was only seven years old when she was allegedly violated and killed.
On June 24, 1995, Shiow Rong told her mother she was going to meet "papa's friend".
Her mother, Ang Goon Lay, was busy at the Toa Payoh coffeeshop, which used to be owned by her husband.
The little girl then ran off.
That was the last time she was seen alive.
She reportedly went missing at around 9:30pm.
The next day, the little girl's body was found in the morning.
She was discovered in a semi-sitting position in a drain near Jalan Woodbridge on June 25, 1995, The Straits Times reported.
Today, on the other hand, reported that Shiow Rong's body was found in some bushes near a sewerage tank off Jalan Woodbridge.
The girl was found with injuries on her face and her panties had blood stains.
Investigations revealed that she had been raped and strangled.
Her mother, now 65 and a coffee shop owner, is still plagued by guilt to this day, ST reported.
The police subsequently released a description of a possible suspect several days after Shiow Rong's death.
But the police said they could not find the culprit and had no updates after that, Today reported the family telling the media.
What did the family say to the media?
Ang's second daughter, Lim Jia Hui, 27, said at the media meeting that she has made it her mission to find her sister's killer to help her mother find closure.
ST reported Lim saying: "My mum lives in guilt. She thinks that she didn't take care of her daughter enough (and) blames herself."
"So this is why I want to find the murderer. I don't want her to live in guilt."
Lim made her appeal on video, which was shared by Crime Library Singapore:
Why is the family coming forward now?
The family does not want to go to the police at the moment, having done so on various occasions previously.
Lim claimed the family had sought out the authorities in the past, and they feel it is futile to do so again now without fresh evidence, Today reported.
Lim’s father had gone to the police around 1997 and 1998 after his release from prison, but was told that the police had no evidence.
The family is appealing for any new information from the public, as they are motivated to crack this unsolved case after seeing the police make progress with the Felicia Teo murder case some 13 years after it happened.
"I believe they can find something with DNA and fingerprints (since Shiow Rong) was beaten up," Lim said, according to ST.
Lim said her father, Lim Kim Siong, who was serving his first week in jail for drug-related offences at the time of his daughter's murder, also felt he was to blame.
Lim's father felt "very guilty" because he thought he "did not protect the family", she told the media.
"I don't want this to be a regret if I am not able to find my sister's killer. I have to step up," she added.
Lim said her father became a changed man after the murder and his stint in prison.
Family has suspects in mind
ST reported that Lim said she remembers two incidents when she was in primary school that involved her being approached by strangers.
This was despite her family being more protective with her after what had happened to her elder sister.
Although ST did not elaborate on when these encounters happened, Today reported that two men had allegedly approached Lim on separate occasions in 2000 and 2001, and asked her to follow them.
Lim would have been six or seven years old then.
Lim did not recognise the two men who approached her, but they claimed to be her father's friends, ST reported.
In one of those encounters, ST reported, Lim had even walked off with a man.
But the man ran off when Lim's aunt spotted her from a distance and called her name.
Today also reported that Lim’s father went to the police again in 2014 regarding these two incidents.
The police, Lim said, told the family they would inform them if they find any evidence -- but that was the last they heard from the police.
Today reported that the family said they know these two men, which they claim would make them suspects in Shiow Rong’s alleged murder.
Lim's father subsequently died from an abdominal aortic aneurysm in 2016.
What did the news report in 1995?
According to Today, the ST report from June 27, 1995 about the murder said Lim's mother found a piece of paper torn from a cigarette carton in Shiow Rong's waist pouch.
The little girl had left the pouch behind at the stall.
The paper had a pager number written on it, as well as the Chinese character "di", which means "younger brother".
The date "24th June" was found on Shiow Rong's bedroom wall, and it was reported to have been written by the little girl.
June 24 was the day she went missing.
Culling information about case
Lim has culled information from news archives located in the library and even watched the Crimewatch episode about her sister's case, as well as reached out to Crime Library Singapore in a bid to make new progress.
“Maybe people have already forgotten about my sister’s case, but I hope all of you can help me,” Today reported Lim saying in her appeal to the public.
“Those who now have some recollections, I appeal to you to please let us or the police know.”