Master Oregon comments: With reference to earlier articles: The Fearsome Chinese Ghost in Red and Methods to become the Chinese Ghost in Red. Is revenge what the woman is trying to achieve? We at Asiaparanormal do not condone such behaviour. Life is too precious to end it.
A woman and her three-year-old son were found dead in Bedok Reservoir early yesterday, two days after they were reported missing by their family.
Officers from national water agency PUB found the bodies at about 6am.
It is understood that Tan Sze Sze, 32, was cradling her toddler, Jerald Chin.
Tan's mother, who saw the bodies, said they were joined by red string at their wrists, wore red T-shirts and both mother and son's fingernails were painted red. According to Chinese belief, red in death symbolizes revenge.
Just before she went missing on Tuesday, Tan had told her mother, Madam Teo Guek Lai, that she planned to kill herself and take her child with her.
Madam Teo, 53, said Tan had a history of post-natal depression and she became increasingly upset after being embroiled in a bitter custody battle with her estranged husband, chef Willy Chin.
Madam Teo said her daughter had been fined for not allowing her husband access to Jerald and worried that she would be jailed if she could not pay up.
"She was afraid that Jerald would be snatched from her," she said in Mandarin. "Her son was her life."
Madam Teo added that her daughter was introverted by nature and easily depressed, and that she was extremely protective of her son, whom she called "Baby".
Tan lived with her mother, a part-time fortune-teller, and four other family members in a one-room rental flat in French Road in the Lavender area. She was unemployed and lived on her mother's Central Provident Fund savings as well as a $300 monthly allowance from her husband.
Madam Teo said her daughter had spoken of suicide several times in recent months.
On Tuesday, Madam Teo was at work in Clementi Central when her daughter arrived with Jerald and cried inconsolably, saying she was a disappointment and unable to protect her son.
"I told her not to be crazy," said Madam Teo.
After they left, Tan switched off her mobile phone. When the family could not reach her, they called the police, who released a missing persons statement to the media at about 7pm on Wednesday.
Family members found Tan's house keys in the mailbox, as well as a box of documents that included a suicide note and instructions on what to do after her death.
In the box was the namecard of undertaker Roland Tay, who had handled her father's funeral three years ago, and a photo album.
The dead woman's family alleged that her relationship with her husband soured about two years ago and she had initiated divorce proceedings.
Neighbors said that Chin would come to the flat every week for more than a year, pleading to see his son. They added that, often, the door would stay shut, or Tan would chase him away with a slipper and swear at him.
Supermarket assistant Goh Hee Kiow, 59, said she had seen Chin waiting outside the flat with a bag of diapers for the child. "Sometimes he would squat by the door and call the boy's name," she said in Mandarin.
Madam Goh added that the last time she saw Chin was in the early hours of Wednesday morning, when he came with the police.
No one answered the door when The Straits Times visited Chin's home in Jalan Bukit Merah last night, although the lights inside were on.
Consultant psychiatrist Ang Yong Guan said that it is not uncommon for post-natal depression to last three years after a birth, especially if the mother was not receiving support from her husband.
"If the personality is lonely, pessimistic, a worrier, the post-natal depression can last very long. Marital problems also prolong it," said Ang.
Police have classified the deaths as unnatural, and are investigating.
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