Arson–murder case solved within 48 hours

PETALING JAYA: Despite challenges in communicating with a deaf-mute suspect in the Tanjung Sepat arson-cum-murder case, police investigators are progressing well with the probe, with the help of a sign-language translator.

Selangor police earned a feather in its cap when it solved the case within 48 hours of the mass murder of Chia Tee Nang, 73, his wife, Lim Mai Shak, 68, and their grandsons – cousins Chia Yuan Bin, 3, and Ryan Chia Zeng, 9.

It was probably the first time police had handled a prominent case of mass murder involving a deaf-mute suspect, who was traced and nabbed in Kepong early on Friday by Selangor police.

Asked today on how police had managed to solve the case so quickly, Selangor police CID chief SAC Fadzil Ahmat said apart from an intensified investigation, public information and tip-offs helped in nabbing the 38-year-old factory worker.

He added that police have engaged the assistance of a sign language translator to communicate with the suspect.

It is believed that as a result of the man's speech and hearing disabilities, it might take more time for investigators to conclude the probe, and they are expected to seek an extension on the week-long remand order on the suspect when it expires on Thursday.

theSun also learnt that Chia and his wife Lim had three children, all also deaf and mute.

Their only daughter who is their youngest child was the suspect's girlfriend.

Police learnt that the suspect owed money that he had borrowed from the elderly couple, and was embroiled in an argument with them on Wednesday over repayment.

In a fit of anger during the altercation, he allegedly assaulted them with an object and slashed them with a knife before setting fire to the house on Jalan Tepi Laut, at about 5am last Wednesday, that killed the couple and the two children.

A third grandson of the couple, who had managed to hide from the suspect and escaped the fire, related what he had witnessed to the police after the incident.

The boy, who is under the care of the Welfare Department and is the prime witness to the case, is expected to be summoned by police this week to identify the detained suspect.