KUANTAN: Revenge and anger are believed to be the motives behind the brutal murder of 11-year-old Siti Masitah Ibrahim, whose decomposed body was found near some bushes at Tanjung Medang Kemahang, Pekan on Saturday.
State Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Othman Nanyan said police had detained a suspect, a 23-year-old Cambodian national, at about 2am at Kampung Tanjung Medang Hilir here on Jan 31.
He said the suspect, who was the last person seen with Masitah before she was reported missing, was a family friend who used to live in the same village.
“At first, the suspect did not admit his involvement behind Masitah’s sudden disappearance but later upon further questioning, he admitted. Revenge and anger towards Masitah’s family are believed to be the motives behind the murder.
“Post mortem revealed that Masitah has been dead for seven to 14 days from a probable head injury. Three injuries were found on her left jaw, left side of her skull and behind her head,” he said in a statement today.
Othman said police have also seized a piece of wood believed to have been used by the suspect to hit the victim which might have led to her death.
He said the suspect, who has no identification documents, has been remanded until Feb 17 under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.
In the incident on Jan 30, Masitah’s mother Solihah Abdullah, 35, had lodged a police report about her missing daughter at about 11pm.
She claimed that her daughter, the third of four siblings, had left home at about 5pm on Jan 30 before she was spotted riding pillion with the suspect.
Several hours later, police detained the suspect for questioning under Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for failing to provide any valid travel documents.
On Saturday, a decomposed body was discovered in an oil palm plantation at Kampung Tanjung Medang Hilir here at about 4.25pm.
Solihah said although her daughter’s body was decomposed, she was still able to identify the blue dress which Masitah was wearing on the day she went missing.
Othman said the decomposed body was found lying face down with hands tied behind her back.
He refuted claims that organ trade syndicate was involved due to the several missing organs from Masitah’s body.
“We are not ruling out the possibility that the missing body parts could be due to wild animals as the body was left exposed in the open for a long time.
“Although the mother has identified Masitah’s body, the police have yet to confirm if it belonged to the missing girl as we can only confirm after the DNA procedures have been completed,” he said.
Othman said police had taken all the necessary measures to search for the missing girl, including questioning the suspect, but could only obtain more details from the suspect after the body was discovered.
Note: The victim’s name was previously reported as Siti Masyitah and her mother was identified as Zaleha Abdullah. A recent update however identifies the victim as Siti Masitah and her mother as Solihah.