When Yong Zhen Cheng received a call on the evening of Dec. 28, he was not expecting the bad news.
Boy rushed to the hospital
His six-month-old son had stopped breathing and was being rushed to the hospital, his babysitter said over the call.
The case of unnatural death took place at Block 158D Rivervale Crescent at 6:25pm on Dec. 28.
The baby was taken to the hospital unconscious and subsequently pronounced dead at the hospital, the police said in response to Mothership's queries. Investigations are ongoing.
According to Shin Min Daily News, it was suspected that the boy had already stopped breathing before arriving at the hospital. The parents were told by doctors that an autopsy would be needed to confirm this.
Yong also told The Straits Times that his baby boy had "absolutely no health conditions".
The six-month-old was the couple's only child.
Babysitter: There were no pillows or blankets in the playpen
The babysitter, Madam Liu, told Shin Min that the baby had gone to sleep in a playpen inside a bedroom at around 3pm. She added that there were no blankets or pillows in the playpen.
According to Liu, she was preparing to bathe the child around 6pm when she realised that he had stopped breathing and turned purple.
After calling the Singapore Civil Defence Force, she said she followed their instructions to gently massage the baby's back and press against his chest before SCDF arrived.
Apart from the six-month-old, she was also caring for a one-year-old and nine-month-old in her home when the incident happened.
Liu had been the boy's nanny for around four months.
Babysitter apparently had over 10 years of experience
The couple had found the babysitter, who apparently had around 10 years of experience in early childhood education, through an online site.
The Malaysian couple told Shin Min that they could not afford to send their child to a childcare centre as it would cost around S$2,000 since they are not Singapore citizens. At S$900, they found Liu's fees more affordable.
Three months in, however, the couple decided that they wanted to look for a different nanny, citing reasons such as the nanny not being attentive enough.
Called family to apologise
Following the incident, Liu told the Chinese daily that she was very upset by it and "didn't want this to happen".
"Even if they (the parents) want me to kneel and apologise, I'm willing to do so," she said.
On Monday (Jan. 3) night, Yong also told ST that Liu had called his sister to apologise. She could not reach the couple as they were collecting their son's ashes earlier that day.
Top photo via Shin Min Daily, Google Maps.