[UPDATE 27 November 2013, 9am: Adding details of mother charged with murder.]
The mother of an 17-month-old baby found dead in waters off Bedok Jetty has been charged with murder.
According to a report by The Straits Times, the 44-year-old woman known as Lim Ann Nee was charged in court on Tuesday afternoon "for the offence of murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, which carries the death penalty", a police statement said.
Earlier on Tuesday, police had issued a statement regarding the woman's arrest, adding that investigations are ongoing.
According to Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao, members of the public found a woman struggling in the sea off East Coast Park at around 6:30pm on Monday.
They immediately called the police, who alerted coast guard officers about the case.
The woman, whom Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily reported to be 45 years old, was rescued and subsequently conveyed conscious to Singapore General Hospital for treatment.
The Chinese papers reported that she was unclothed when she was rescued.
Three hours later, at around 9.30 pm on Monday, a boat driver, known as 50-year-old Abdul Mutalib, found the body of the 17-month-old baby of mixed descent, also unclothed, floating in the sea off Bedok Jetty in East Coast Park, while he was ferrying passengers from Changi Pier to Marina South, according to The New Paper.
According to the Chinese papers, the baby’s grandfather, Lim Joohing who is around 70 years old, told reporters that his daughter took her son for a walk at 4pm on Monday.
He added that his daughter enjoyed taking her son to East Coast Park for walks and he even had a video call with his daughter at around 2pm on Monday.
She also sent photographs of the scenery of the park to her husband, who is French, said Lim.
So when his daughter didn’t return home for many hours, the family started to worry and they were devastated when the police contacted them about the death of the baby boy.
Career woman, remarried
Lim also told reporters that his daughter divorced her ex-husband eight years ago and married her current husband five years ago.
According to Shin Min Daily, she also has a 16-year-old son from her previous marriage.
Lim also revealed that his daughter was a career woman, who worked in high-flying job in an MNC, but she was recently sacked and was looking for a job.
Meanwhile, his son-in-law worked in the forex industry.
Appeal for help on social media
In search for his daughter and grandson, the baby’s grandfather posted a photo of them on Facebook on Monday night, asking for witnesses to contact him.
The baby’s stepbrother also appealed for help on Twitter.
At around 2am on Tuesday, he posted about the tragedy of his stepbrother, thanking all those who had helped to retweet his appeal earlier, and expressed sadness in losing his stepbrother.
Cause of death
While the police are still investigating, Lim told reporters that her daughter’s bag was in the baby stroller when it was found by the police, though her wallet and identify card were missing.
He also told reporters that his daughter was not aware of her child’s death at that time of the interview.
Lim added that she was conscious but visibly frightened by the incident, and did not mention to rescuers about her son.
4 suspected drowning cases in 2 days
It is the fourth case of suspected drowning in the sea in two days.
At about noon on Monday, police also received a call about a 23-year-old Vietnamese who was reported missing by his friends after he went swimming off East Coast Park.
On Sunday, SIM university graduate Goh Chuan Kiet, 23, went missing in the waters off Changi during a stand-up paddle board session. His paddle board was recovered by police on Monday, but the business degree student is still missing.
Shin Min Daily also reported that a body was found on Tuesday morning at East Coast Park.
He is believed to be a father who went missing in Malaysia on Sunday evening when he was trying to save his 8-year-old son who fell into the sea.
The eight-year-old son is still missing.