Sleepwalking woman allegedly climbs out of Marine Parade condo window, falls to her death

She was known to have a history of sleepwalking.

Joshua Lee | May 13, 2022, 11:45 AM

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A woman in Singapore is believed to have sleepwalked and climbed through her condominium window before falling to her death.

CNA reported that the woman, 38-year-old Ruth Dalumpines Dulfo, was found motionless on the ground floor of her Laguna Park condominium on June 7, 2021.

Dulfo was a Philippine national who came to Singapore 13 years ago.

She was living in the condominium apartment with five housemates.

CNA reported that Dulfo had a history of sleepwalking.

The police do not suspect foul play.

What happened?

A coroner's court heard on Thursday (May 12) that on the night before Dulfo fell to her death on June 6, 2021, there was a gathering at her condominium apartment.

She was at the gathering and had consumed alcohol.

Post-mortem toxicology tests found an elevated level of ethanol in Dulfo's blood, however, that level is not lethal.

Dulfo's housemates went to bed before her. Two of them said she was awake and on her phone when they last saw her at 3am to 4am.

Since none of her housemates were awake at the time of her death and there were no CCTV cameras in the house, there is no certainty as to what actually happened.

However, police investigations managed to find several pieces of evidence to support the view that Dulfo had entered her apartment's toilet, possibly in her sleepwalking state, opened the toilet window, climbed through it, and fell to her death.

The place where Dulfo's body was found lined up with the location of her apartment's toilet window.

This window was usually closed.

However, on that day, the toilet window was "opened to a wide extent", reported CNA.

When the police swabbed the toilet window's lever, which was used to open the window and the bottom of the window, they found traces of Dulfo's DNA.

Dulfo was petite in stature — 1.45m tall and 48kg heavy.

According to the police, she was "very fit" and would have been able to pass though the toilet window.

Inside the toilet, the police found a shampoo bottle which had toppled on to the floor.

Other toiletries were also found in disarray, according to the housemates.

The police believed that Dulfo could have used a metal shower tap in the toilet to support her weight as she climbed through the window.

Had history of sleepwalking

Dulfo's sister told the police that the late woman had sleepwalked on at least three different occasions in the Philippines.

On one of those occasions, Dulfo actually walked down a flight of stairs with her eyes closed.

One of Dulfo's housemates also testified that once in 2021, he spotted the woman walking out of the apartment's storage area in the morning. She claimed then that she did not know how she ended up there.

According to the housemate, she could have been sleepwalking then.

A senior consultant at the National Neuroscience Institute, Pavanni Ratnagopal, told the court that Dulfo seemed to be capable of carrying out "quite complicated actions" while sleepwalking — such as walking down a flight of stairs.

In her testimony, she said that driving cars and climbing out of windows are examples of complicated actions that have been documented in sleepwalking people.

Ratnagopal concluded in her expert report that Dulfo had been sleepwalking.

Could there be other possibilities?

According to CNA, just before her death, Dulfo wanted to remit her entire month's salary to her family back in the Philippines.

This was unusual because Dulfo typically remitted only part of her salary.

She was also expected to make a co-payment of S$540 for a downpayment on a house in the Philippines for her family.

The judge presiding over the case has asked the police to look into Dulfo's usual practice of remitting money to her family. She also requested the police to try to decrypt Dulfo's phone and tablet.

The hearing has been adjourned to another date.

Top image credit: Google Maps. 

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