Malaysian woman found in Pasir Ris River: Cause of death uncertain, coroner says

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SINGAPORE – The cause of death of a Malaysian woman who disappeared on January 16 and whose body was found two days later in a river in Pasir Ris, is uncertain, the state coroner has said.

Ms. Khoo Yee Joo, 22, was found floating on Sungei Api Api on January 18.

At an inquest Monday, August 1, into his death, State Coroner Adam Nakhoda entered an open verdict.

He said: “The circumstances would suggest suicidal ideation but, in this case, other reasons for his death cannot be definitively ruled out.”

Noting that the body was found in the mangrove forests, the coroner said the autopsy report found no external injuries on Ms Khoo.

He added that investigator (IO) Ling Junxian said there was no indication of foul play as the cause of death.

Sergeant Ling told the court that police were alerted around 7.20pm on January 18 to the discovery of Ms Khoo’s body.

She was seen by several witnesses, including a mangrove surveyor, before disappearing on January 16.

The OI said a relative and friend of Ms Khoo both said that throughout her stay in Singapore she had been depressed, stressed at work and had suicidal thoughts.

Another witness said that on January 16, she also asked about the water depth in Sungei Api Api.

Ms Khoo allegedly told the witness – who would be the last person to see her – that she was not sure they would meet again in the future, the OI said.

She was seen on security cameras walking towards Pasir Ris Park alone at 6.45pm on January 16 in the same outfit she was wearing when her body was found.

The Health Sciences Authority said the cause of death was uncertain, the OI said.

Ms Khoo, who was originally from Kedah, had moved to Singapore after graduating from university and later landed a job as an assistant Chinese teacher at an education center, Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao reported.

She reportedly lived with her aunt, Ms. Huang Yanying, 46, in Toa Payoh.

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