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Death of 77-year-old man in Toa Payoh Flat unveiled amid withered plants and foul odor

SINGAPORE  — A 77-year-old elderly man was discovered dead inside his home at a flat in Toa Payoh, after his neighbor detected a suspicious odor resembling that of a decomposing corpse.

The incident came to light on Saturday (24 June) afternoon. It occurred in Unit 9 on the 9th floor of Block 174, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh. The deceased individual was a 77-year-old male.

According to the Chinese media outlet Shin Min Daily News, the police were alerted to an incident of unnatural death in a residential unit at the mentioned block at 2:50 pm on that day.

Medical personnel pronounced the elderly dead on the scene. Initial investigations indicate that the case does not involve any criminal activity, and the investigation is ongoing.

A 70-year-old neighbor named Ms. Chong informed Shin Min Daily News that the deceased was tall and thin, reserved, rarely interacted with others, and had never been visited by relatives or friends.

“Although we were neighbors for many years, I didn’t know his name. I only know that his last job seemed to be a security guard.”

Chong mentioned that she noticed the uncle’s outdoor potted plants starting to wither a week ago.

On Saturday, when her younger brother visited, he detected a suspicious odor resembling that of a decomposing corpse near the uncle’s house. She decided to report it to the police.

Neighhour hadn’t seen the elderly for approximately two weeks

Ms. Chong recalled that the uncle was passionate about gardening and often saw him watering plants in the corridor. However, she hadn’t seen him for approximately two weeks.

“I went to knock on his door three days ago, but no one answered. I thought maybe he went abroad, so I helped water his plants.”

Another resident, aged 31, also mentioned that she had noticed the odor two weeks ago, and it had been growing stronger. However, she attributed it to clothes not drying or the neighbor’s hygiene habits and didn’t pay much attention to it.

Another elderly man died alone in his own unit last year

A resident revealed that on National Day last year, another elderly man living in a solo unit on the same floor was also found decomposed in his home, becoming a decomposed corpse.

“This deceased person was also in his sixties or seventies and lived next to us. It was only when neighbors smelled the odor that it was discovered,” the 47-year-old resident said.

Previous cases of elderly died alone in their residence

Two months ago, a trauma cleaner recently also shared a heartbreaking story of an elderly man who died alone in a Bukit Merah HDB shophouse before celebrating Hari Raya.

In June 2022, 73-year-old Madam Cheng Ah Imm, was found dead in a rental flat after Housing Development Board (HDB) officials broke open her flat’s locked door.

They found a pile of bones in the living room, after deciding to reclaim the flat due to unpaid rental of over two years.

Some netizens have questioned why the HDB officials took so long to discover the deceased, given that an elderly person was living in the unit.

In November 2020, police found an elderly’s remains in her unit at The Shore Residences— nearly two years after she was last seen.

The elderly Lily Loh, who was in her 80s, lived by herself and only had a pet dog. The resident noted that Madam Loh appeared to have neither family members nor visitors.

In February 2020, the resident said there was a “weird smell” in the common corridor, which went away weeks later. The condo management was notified of Madam Loh’s sudden absence. Despite that, nothing appeared to have been done, according to the resident.



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