Crime & Courts

Zayn Rayyan murder: Residents now afraid to leave their kids unattended

PETALING JAYA: The majority of parents staying in the same area with six-year-old murdered victim Zayn Rayyan Abdul Matiin are on high alert and do not leave their children at home even for a short period when they go out.

One of the boy's neighbours, Shida Rajali, 35, expressed her hope that the Joint Management Body (JMB) of the Idaman Apartment would install more closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the residential area to ramp up security.

"My husband and I are also planning to install CCTV cameras outside our home because our unit is next to the staircase.

"Many people use it to go up and down, which is quite concerning," she said, adding that she is a mother of three children aged between five and nine.

On the day Zayn Rayyan went missing (Tuesday), Shida had encountered the child's mother at their residential block when she was about to send her nine-year-old daughter to school around noon.

"I saw her (Zayn Rayyan's mother) alone at that time, and she seemed to be looking for something. But I didn't ask.

"Later, when I returned home and climbed the stairs to my second-floor house, I bumped into her again as she was on her way down.

"I only learned about Zayn's disappearance from her husband several hours after that," she said when met at his residence in Block R of Idaman Apartments, Damansara Damai, here today.

Another neighbour, Abd Rashid Tatawi, 39, described the deceased, who is an autistic child, as a quiet child who was always accompanied by his mother, even when playing.

Abd Rashid said he often saw the child with his mother when they went and returned from school or the caretaker's house.

"Zayn is a quiet child and doesn't speak much with people. Sometimes he would play briefly in front of our house after returning from school under his mother's watchful eye.

"When his mother asked him to come inside the house, he would obey her instructions. He's not a troublesome child," he said.

Abd Rashid, a self-employed individual, said after learning about Zayn Rayyan's disappearance through the Idaman Apartments residents' WhatsApp group last Tuesday, he joined a search group looking for the child on the first day the boy went missing.

"On the night Zayn was found (Wednesday night), I had just returned from work.

"When Zayn's father fainted upon learning of his son's death, I was the one who caught him when he collapsed. I could relate to his sadness because I am a father too, with children aged between one and 18 years old," he said.

Last Tuesday, the victim's mother picked him up from Sekolah Kebangsaan Damansara Damai 2 (SKDD2). She returned home around 12.30pm on Tuesday.

The child was then discovered missing by his mother while climbing the stairs to return to their home on the third floor of the said apartment.

After more than 30 hours of police-led searches with the assistance of residents, the victim was found near a creek, located about 200 metres from their residence in Block R of Idaman Apartments, around 10pm.

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