TWO-YEAR-OLD Siti Soffea Emelda Abdullah was a bubbly little girl.
While most children her age would have the luxury of a house, toys and decent meals, the streets of Kuala Lumpur was the only home she knew.
She was a familiar face among vagabonds, drug addicts and vagrants as she aimlessly wandered the city with her mother, then aged 32.
The child’s father was serving jail time at the Kajang Prison.
However, fate dealt an evil blow on the afternoon of May 29, 2014, when Siti Soffea’s mother walked into the Kota Raya shopping complex on Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, supposedly to use the toilet.
She left Siti Soffea with workers of a store at the mall, whom she hardly knew, before going to the toilet.
Left to her own devices, more than an hour later, the child slipped away from the workers and wandered around the floor, believed to be in search of her mother.
When the woman returned and found her child missing, she began searching for her with the help of several passers-by, but to no avail.
Several hours later, passers-by spotted a man carrying a child along the riverbank of the Klang River, not far from the mall.
However, they did not realise that it was Siti Soffea, who had earlier gone missing.
When a bystander spotted a man taking a child into the river from afar, he shouted at the man, which alerted the passers-by. They shouted at him.
The killer had tried to drown her but he was startled by the shouts and a few people racing to the scene to save the child.
Witnesses watched in horror as the man then picked up a broken floor tile along the riverbank and repeatedly stab Siti Soffea’s neck with it, until her head was almost severed.
By then, passing policmen rushed over. Seeing the cops and public approaching him, the suspect picked up Siti Soffea’s body and threw it into the river, before diving into the swift-moving waters.
Police and the public managed to retrieve the child’s body soon after but her killer was swept away by strong currents.
Two days later, the killer’s decomposed body was found about 15km away in Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya.
Police investigations revealed that the man was mentally unsound and had a string of criminal records, mainly for drug related offences.
Closed-circuit television camera footage retrieved from the shopping mall showed that Siti Soffea was last seen loitering outside an elevator before the man was seen coaxing the child to follow him.
The child then appeared to reluctantly follow her killer.
Until this day, his motive for killing the child remains a mystery, although police later learnt that the man, who had days earlier been released from Kajang Prison, had during imprisonment shared a jail cell with Siti Soffea’s father.