Son believed to have lived in Hougang flat with body of father, 81, for over 5 days

The son reportedly has special needs and depended heavily on his father.

Ruth Chai | December 15, 2023, 06:52 PM



The body of an 81-year-old man was found in a flat at Block 25 Hougang Avenue 3 on Dec. 14 at around 11:20am.

The man's son, who has special needs and depended on his father, was suspected to have lived with the body for at least five days, according to Shin Min Daily News.

The man's neighbours revealed that the son had come to their house to ask for help, but before he could say anything, he ran away.

Speaking to Shin Min, a neighbour named Ai Su (transliterated from Chinese), 25, revealed that the elderly man lived with his son, who is believed to be in his 30s or 40s.

As the son has a low IQ, he was largely dependent on his father.

The neighbour recalled last seeing the older man in early December.

Son knocked on door asking for help

On Dec. 13, the man's son knocked on her door, but left without saying anything.

"At that time, he walked towards our unit and seemed to want to talk to us. I thought it was strange at the time as he had never talked to us for the past 10 years. My mother answered the door, but he turned around and walked away," she said.

She added that it later dawned on her that it might have been a plea for help.

Another neighbour, Zheng Qingliang (transliterated from Chinese), 71, said he would chat with the elderly father every Sunday at the void deck of the HDB block.

"However, I didn't see him last Sunday. The last time I saw him was two weeks ago," Zheng told Shin Min.

"He was still working part-time before the pandemic, but he stopped working after. He appeared to have problems with his eye," Zheng added.

Deeply worried about son

Zheng shared that the late neighbour was deeply worried about his son, especially when he is no longer around to take care of him.

"He once said that if he left, his son would be miserable," Zheng said.

She also shared that she had not seen the older man's wife for decades.

"I don't know if his wife had died, but he would always be the one caring for his son. There were no other relatives," Zheng said.

She said the son would go to a special needs school in Ang Mo Kio on weekends, and would go downstairs by himself to wait for a school bus that picks him up.

She mentioned that he would go home by himself.

A woman surnamed Zhang, 35, lived next to the man's unit.

She revealed to Shin Min that the man and his son both had diabetes, and that she had not seen the man for four or five days.

She said she had noticed a bad smell since the night before.

Responding to Mothership's queries, the Singapore Civil Defence Force confirmed that they received a call for assistance on Dec. 14 at around 11:20am.

A person was pronounced dead at the scene by a SCDF paramedic.

Investigations are ongoing.

The police do not suspect foul play.

Top photo via Shin Min and Google Maps