Body of woman, 60, found rotting in neighbour's HDB flat in Alexandra

A neighbour said the woman would occasionally stay over in the unit.

Ruth Chai | February 12, 2024, 06:17 PM



The body of a 60-year-old woman was found in a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat in Block 3 Jalan Bukit Merah.

The body was discovered at around 12pm on Feb. 10 after neighbours smelled a foul stench and called the police.

The police told Shin Min Daily News (Shin Min) that they received a report of an unnatural death.

A woman was found lying in the unit and pronounced dead.

The police ruled out the possibility of homicide after preliminary investigations.

Investigations are ongoing, said the police.

Body was infested with maggots

Shin Min reporters observed police officers cordoning off the unit, and collecting evidence from inside.

The body was removed from the unit at around 6pm.

A neighbour surnamed Su (transliterated from Chinese) said he started noticing the stench a day before.

He described the smell as "unbearable".

An 18-year-old student, who lives opposite the unit, said the woman lived on a different floor but could have been helping the owner take care of their place.

He said the unit belonged to one of the woman's friends. The woman would occasionally come to stay in the unit as its owner is believed to be in prison.

The student said he last saw the woman a week ago.

"She usually stays for a day or two before leaving. We only recently noticed the rotten smell," he said.

Many elderly people living alone in the HDB: neighbours

Neighbours also said that there were many elderly people living alone in the HDB block.

A resident surnamed Ye (transliterated from Chinese), 74, said he did not personally know the woman, and heard of her death when the police arrived.

Ye, who lives alone, said that he worries for the elderly who live alone.

According to the Ministry of Health, the number of residents aged 65 and above who live alone in Singapore rose from 58,000 in 2018 to 79,000 in 2022.

The number is only expected to rise as our population ages and the average household size decreases.

Top photo via Shin Min