Bodies of two brothers, 11, found in canal near Upper Bukit Timah playground, male suspect sought, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Bodies of two brothers, 11, found in canal near Upper Bukit Timah playground, male suspect sought

Two children were found dead near a playground in Toh Yi, Upper Bukit Timah, on Friday evening.

Police were on the lookout for a male suspect on Friday night (Jan 21), The Straits Times has learnt.

Taxi drivers who received a text message, which the police confirmed to ST as genuine, were told to be on the alert for a man of unknown race last seen at 3pm that day in Greenridge Crescent.

The bodies of the victims, twin boys aged 11, were said to have been found in a canal near the playground.

The alert, which has since been stood down, described the man as aged 30 to 40 years old, “tan looking”, in grey shirt and sports shoes. ST understands no arrest has been made as yet.

The police had received a call for assistance on Friday at about 6.25pm, from a man at the playground in Greenridge Crescent, they said in a statement on Saturday (Jan 22). 

When officers arrived, the man’s two 11-year-old sons were found lying motionless near the playground and were pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic. 

Police investigations into the case of unnatural death of the two boys are ongoing. 

When The Straits Times arrived at the playground around noon on Saturday, there were two police vehicles parked along Greenridge Crescent.

Officers dressed in plain clothes were spotted speaking to residents around the Eng Kong estate.

Officers from the police's Gurkha Contingent were seen walking inside a canal nearby and combing the forested area behind the playground.

According to a text message circulating among neighbours, police officers had approached residents in the area on Friday to secure closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage. 

A domestic worker who lives near the playground said she heard a girl shouting for help at about 6.30pm on Friday.

The helper, who declined to be named, thought it was just children playing. But 15 minutes later, she saw a number of police officers in the area.

Residents in the area that ST spoke to said the playground is usually quiet and frequented mostly by joggers in the evenings.

They said that on Friday, at about 6.45pm, they saw police and Singapore Civil Defence Force vehicles lining the street.

The residents said it had not rained and the canal was not flooded. 

One resident, who declined to be named, said she saw officers loading two bodies onto a vehicle around midnight.

“A few hours before (the bodies were removed), a yellow car which was parked on the road was towed away,” said the resident.

“It’s quite a secluded and quiet park and it’s beautiful. My grandkids prefer to play in the other park because of the mosquitoes in this one,” she added.

“We weren’t really concerned about the safety of the park for the kids.”

The playground is surrounded by landed terrace and semi-detached homes.

At about 4pm on Saturday, two men and two women turned up in the area to light candles and leave offerings by the canal.

One of the men, identified as Mr Fong Chun Cheong, said he is a family friend. He added that he is from Singapore Yin Feng Shui Funeral Services and has been engaged by the boys’ mother to help the family with the proceedings.

He said the others in the group comprised the boys’ sister, who is in her early 20s, and family friends.

“They just want closure and to be left alone…They just want to have peace,” said Mr Fong.

The 40-year-old added that he had met the boys before, describing them as "lively and energetic". ST understands the twins were children with special needs.

MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Sin Ann said in a Facebook post: “This is a grave tragedy, and unthinkable especially to anyone who is a parent.

“I know the news is deeply shocking and upsetting to our community.”

She urged residents to avoid speculation and to wait for official information from the police.

She added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the children who have lost their lives so tragically.”