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Coroner’s court: 15-year-old Singaporean girl took grandfather’s life before her own

A 15-year-old girl took her grandfather’s life in their Bukit Batok residence before ending her own in June last year.

The tragic incident, detailed by coroner’s court, unveils a series of harrowing events and unanswered questions.

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SINGAPORE: A 15-year-old girl is reported to have taken her grandfather’s life in their Bukit Batok residence before tragically ending her own, as determined by a coroner’s court on Wednesday (29 Nov).

Both the victim and the girl were found dead on 23 June last year.

The victim, Mr Teo An Nee, an 84-year-old man, was discovered with stab wounds within their residence, while the girl, Ms Ellis Teo was found in a grassy area several blocks away.

The investigating officer, based on the evidence gathered, has confirmed that no third party was involved in the incident.

Chronology of incidents

The incidents unfolded in their residence at Block 363, Bukit Batok Street 31, as reported by Channel NewsAsia.

On the fateful day, Ms Teo’s parents were at work, and her grandfather was captured on police cameras heading home around 2.30 pm.

At approximately 5 pm, Ms Teo, with a plaster on her left hand, was seen leaving the block.

Public transport card EZ-Link records indicated that she took a train and later travelled to Block 115, Bukit Batok West Avenue 6. There, she accessed the 25th floor and tragically jumped.

Before her demise, Ms Teo had called her mother twice, advising her not to buy milk and expressing a reluctance to return home, citing something that would upset her mother.

As per the investigating officer, her mother found the situation “weird,” yet remained unaware of what had happened.

Upon returning home around 5.30 pm, Ms Teo’s mother found the family dog with a blood-covered mouth.

She then went to her father-in-law’s room and discovered Mr Teo’s lifeless body, surrounded by blood, with a knife placed near his body near the toilet bowl.

After she and her husband called the ambulance, she took the knife, washed it herself, and then placed it on the kitchen rack.

An autopsy revealed at least seven stab wounds on Mr Teo’s body, with a shirt belonging to Ms Teo found in a mop pail, stained with her grandfather’s blood.

While Mr Teo’s DNA was identified on the knife, Ms Teo’s DNA could not be traced, likely due to her mother’s cleaning efforts.

Mental distress involving thoughts of self-harm

Following the discovery of the two bodies, law enforcement conducted a search of Ms Teo’s room, revealing her diary containing details about her mental health struggles and thoughts of self-harm.

In diary entries from 2021, she expressed feelings of loneliness and disclosed methods of ending her life.

One entry mentioned a specific desire to take her own life from a Housing Board block near her cousin’s residence, a location eerily close to where she was ultimately found deceased.

Remarkably, the diary did not indicate any harmful intentions towards her grandfather, though it did highlight challenges in communicating with him.

Ms Teo detailed difficulties in conversing with him and assisting him with phone usage due to her limited proficiency in Mandarin.

In her diary, she also acknowledged having “great parents who care for her” and professed love for her friends.

During an interview with an unnamed relative, it was suggested that Ms Teo might have been “triggered” by her grandfather’s phone ringtone, as she was known to be sensitive to loud sounds.

However, an examination of Mr Teo’s phone by the police revealed no messages, calls, or alarms during the timeframe of the tragic incident.

The investigating officer conceded that the police could not definitively outline the events that transpired when Mr Teo was alone at home with his granddaughter.

No signs of a break-in were evident, and the footprints and DNA discovered at the scene exclusively matched the two individuals.

While the assault was likely centred in Mr Teo’s room, near the toilet entrance, the motive behind Ms Teo’s actions remained unclear.

Despite suggestions among Ms Teo’s friends regarding her suicidal thoughts, her parents were unaware of these struggles and harboured no suspicions of any wrongdoing, according to the investigating officer.

Consistently, family members of both Teos expressed disinterest in participating in the coroner’s inquiry, as conveyed by the officer overseeing the case.

Where to get help:

If you or someone you know is grappling with suicidal thoughts, assistance and support are accessible.

Samaritans of Singapore Hotline: 1767

Institute of Mental Health’s Helpline: 6389 2222

Singapore Association for Mental Health Helpline: 1800 283 7019

You can discover a directory of global helplines on this page.

In case someone you are aware of is facing an imminent threat, please dial 24-hour emergency services.

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My first thought was that she had been sexually abused by her grandfather, leading to her mental distress and eventually this incident.

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