[UPDATE] Mother's Day tragedy – Indonesian maid to be charged over death of baby girl

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The family's domestic helper was initially uncontactable when the baby was found dead, after leaving home bright and early in the morning


Straits Times has reported that Maryani Bte Usman Utar is to be charged for causing the death of one-year-old Richelle Teo Yan Jia.

The police had arrested Maryani in the Marina Bay area on the afternoon of Mother's Day.

On Monday afternoon, police officers took her to the Housing Board flat where she worked in Simei Street 4, her wrists and ankles in restraints.

According to the family, Richelle's father was praying in the bedroom while she slept on the morning of Mother's Day. Her mother and older brother were out at the time. Richelle's father tried to wake her up but found out that she was unconscious.

He then took her to the hospital where she was pronounced dead at 10:08am.

Richelle's grandfather, Mr Teo Xiong Kun, 81, told Lianhe Wanbao that his family had repeatedly tried to call the maid after the incident, but she could not be reached.

Maryani was believed to have worked for the family for more than a year. It was reportedly her first job in Singapore.

Her aunt told the Chinese newspaper that Richelle's brother had yet to understand that his sister had died. She also mentioned that relatives often visited Richelle's family during the weekends.


Chinese newspaper Wanbao reported that Singaporean family woke up to bad news on Mother's Day last Sunday, when they noticed their 1-year-old baby girl lying motionless on the floor.

The baby girl just celebrated her birthday 5 days ago.

She was found dead with bruises on her neck and the family believes that the baby must have been strangled or has suffocated to death.

The tragedy happened at Block 225 Simei Street 4 at about 9:20am.

The prime suspect of the case is the family's domestic helper; 30 year-old Maryani Bte Usman Utar. She was initially uncontactable when the baby was found dead, after leaving home bright and early in the morning. 

However, the police eventually caught her at Marina Bay Sands later that afternoon.

How to cope with the loss of a child

The first year after a child's death is the most difficult. Give yourself time to grieve and do it well. There is no need to rush back into your daily routine after the death of a child. Don't be afraid to cry. Tears are a release and an essential part of the grief work.

Never take this opportunity to harm yourself or become dysfunctional. If you feel that your emotions are getting out of control, do not be afraid to seek external help from family members or friends or even professional help. Bear in mind there is nothing wrong with seeking help.

Try channeling your attention to an activity such as writing or exercise. Also, don't rush in keeping away your child's toys or belongings. Do it one day at a time.

Talking to someone who has been through the same experience is a also a great help. No one else understands the pain of a bereaved parent better than the one who has been through the same experience.


KK Women's and Children's Hospital also provides support group services.

For more information, visit their website.

Source: theindependent

(Image credit: theindependent)

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Written by

Aisyah Amin