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Police investigation at crime scene (Photo - Straits Times)

Police announced unusual death at Geylang Lorong 23 as murder

A 52 years old  former coffee shop worker, Mr Niu-ge, was found dead near the coffee shop at Geylang Lorong 23 on July 9, 2016.

The police said that a man called for assistance at Geylang Lorong 23 at 8 am. When they arrived 10 minutes later, a man was found laying on the ground motionless. The paramedics announced the death of the man at 8.11 am.

The police initially called this incident as "unnatural death" before finally classifying this as a murder case a day later.

Mr. Niu-ge has no longer worked in the coffee shop "Zi Char" but he still visited the place on a regular daily basis to have a cup of tea, said one of his friends.

A shocked coffee-shop worker said that she saw  Mr Niu-ge had a confrontation with another man before he collapsed. The attack happened just a few meters outside the coffee shop at about 8am. After hitting the victim from the back, she said she saw the attacker ran away towards Geylang Lorong 21.

A coffee-shop worker also said that the attacker are a frequent visitor of the coffee shop.

The reason of the fight between the two is still unclear, although there are some sayings that the fight has something to do with debt related dispute.

A taxi driver, Mr Teo, had his breakfast in the coffee-shop when the incident happened. He reportedly said that the victim was still alive at that moment and he called the paramedics immediately.

Witnesses said that the body was covered with a white cloth and a blue tent. But when The New Paper arrived at 10.30am on Sunday, the cloth had been removed.

An eyewitness said that the deceased body was seen clutching his wallet and a damaged mobile phone.

A relative who arrived at the crime scene at 12.30, was outraged by the prolonged and open display of the body. Chinese daily Linhe Wanbao reported that the woman calling out to no one in particular, "Why do you leave his body in the open, to be exposed to the sun?"

An expert familiar with crime scenes, who declined to be named, said it is rare for a corpse to be left uncovered for such a long time.

He said: "But the police have to conduct their investigation, no matter what. It is just unfortunate that the body was found on such a busy road, (and resulted in) so many people taking photos of the body (from behind) the police cordon."

People behind the police cordon, which was places about 20 metres away, could easily see the body and many of them took the pictures of the deceased which caused distress to the relative.

The Sunday Times reported that the dead man had a deep cut from the left side of his ear to the top of his head, and a wooden stick was found nearby.

In a statement on Sunday (July 10), police said it was appealing for information on the whereabouts of 54-year-old Yeo Ai Leng to assist with investigations into the case. Although later in the evening, it confirmed that Yeo had been traced and was not a suspect.

Anyone with information on the case is requested to call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.