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The Straits Times
Nov 29, 2023
For reasons unknown, a 15-year-old girl killed her grandfather in a Bukit Batok flat before jumping to her death from a nearby block in June 2022.
Coroner Christopher Goh said on Nov 29 that it appeared that besides the teenager no one else was involved in the death of Mr Teo An Nee, 84.
He was found with at least seven stab wounds on his torso in a flat at Block 363 Bukit Batok Street 31 on June 23, 2022, and was later pronounced dead by paramedics.
After killing her paternal grandfather, Ellis Teo, 15, went to the 25th storey of Block 115 Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 and jumped to her death.
The investigating officer (IO), Sergeant Quek Jun Cai, told the court on Nov 29 that following an investigation, the police could not determine what happened between the pair shortly before the tragedy.
This was because Mr Teo and Ellis were the only ones in the flat, as her parents were not home.
There were no witnesses, and there was also no closed-circuit television camera footage captured inside the unit.
Ellis’ diary was recovered, and the IO said that, based on her entries, she had felt no hatred and bore no ill intentions towards her grandfather.
Instead, the teenager had said she faced difficulties when she tried to teach Mr Teo how to use his phone as she was not proficient in Chinese.
She had stated she was lonely and had wanted to take her own life. However, investigators did not know why she wanted to do so.
Ellis had written in her diary that she had mental health issues, but there were no official medical reports that she had them.
The court heard she did not like loud sounds, and an unnamed relative had told investigators that Ellis could have been “triggered” by the ringtone of the elderly man’s phone.
The court heard that on the day of the tragedy, she did not leave her flat before killing her grandfather.
CCTV footage at the block showed that he came home at around 2.30pm, and Ellis left the premises shortly after 5pm with a plaster on her left hand.
She called her mother, saying she did not wish to go home and that she had done something that would make her mum angry. Ellis took her own life soon after.
Ellis was found lying motionless at the foot of Block 115, and the police were alerted at 5.50pm.
At around the same time, her mother returned home and found that the family dog had a bloodstained mouth. The mother then found Mr Teo lying face up in the master bedroom, covered in blood, with a knife near him.
She called her husband before she picked up the weapon, washed it and put it away. It was not mentioned in court why she had done that.
Her husband alerted the police, and paramedics pronounced the elderly man dead at the scene.
Investigators examined the knife and found only Mr Teo’s DNA on it. Ellis’ DNA could not be found on the weapon and the IO said this could be because her mother had washed it earlier.
Ellis’ shirt, which was stained with Mr Teo’s blood, was found in a pail in the flat.
There was also no indication that anyone had broken into the family flat, said Sgt Quek.
Family members were not in court on Nov 29 during the inquiry.
Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
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Chat, Centre of Excellence for Youth Mental Health: 6493-6500/1
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