14-Year-Old Tina Lin Had Gone Missing In Choa Chu Kang 18 Years Ago
Singapore’s a relatively safe place for youngsters to wander around, but now and then, people do go missing.
Naturally, the small number of missing-person cases here means that it’s all the more astonishing when a healthy, young person vanishes without a trace.
One of the more mystifying cases is that of Tina Lin Xinying.
The 14-year-old, who left her Choa Chu Kang home to visit her grandfather in 2002, never made it there.
More than a year later, at his wake, her family claimed to have received a mysterious call, with 7 relatives all recognising the caller’s voice as Tina’s.
Missing girl last seen at her home in Choa Chu Kang
A Facebook post by Crime Library Singapore reawakened interest in this cold case.
Tina, a Secondary 2 student at Unity Secondary School was last seen at 22 Jun 2002, at her home in Block 462, Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4.
According to Lianhe Zaobao, at 4pm that day Tina’s father Lin Wenzhi suggested that she go to Jurong to visit her grandfather, who was sick.
She never made it to grandfather’s place
Tina called first to make sure someone was home before leaving, and her father was supposed to bring her home the next day.
When she left, she didn’t bring any extra clothes nor her passport. Neither did she bring much money with her, thus there was no sign that she had intended to run away.
However, she never made it to her grandfather’s place.
Mr Lin called her friends and relatives and no one was the wiser of the girl’s whereabouts.
He subsequently made a police report.
Father goes as far as Thai border to look for Tina
Desperate to find his daughter, Mr Lin printed 7,000 flyers and circulated them across Singapore, Zaobao said.
When he couldn’t find her locally, he tried overseas, heading to Malaysian destinations like Penang, Ipoh and Sarawak state.
He even travelled all the way to the Thai border, but to no avail.
After Tina had been missing for 3 years, Mr Lin offered a reward of $30,000 for information about her whereabouts.
However, no news emerged, and she was declared dead in 2010.
Mystery calls at grandfather’s wake renewed hope
A teenage girl going inexplicably missing would be mystifying enough, but Mr Lin said something happened more than a year after Tina’s disappearance that was even more bizarre.
Her grandfather passed away on 28 Oct 2003, and the family put up an obituary.
In the days after that, they received 13 calls from an unknown caller they believed to be Tina.
When Mr Lin picked up one call during the wake, 6 other relatives were also present, and recognised the caller’s voice as Tina’s.
However, whoever it was on the other side said she couldn’t reveal where she was, only that it was “very dark”.
The calls renewed the family’s hope that Tina was still alive and would one day return.
Calls traced to Pasir Ris residence
When the police investigated the calls, they were traced to a residence in Pasir Ris.
However, the police also determined that Tina could not have made them from there.
Hence, the trail went cold again.
As Mr Lin’s phone was included in the all the flyers that he printed, he often received prank calls.
Some of the callers were mean enough to say that his daughter had met with an accident, but none had any leads.
Could the calls during the wake also have been prank calls?
Disappearance of missing Choa Chu Kang girl caused family split
Tina is Mr Lin’s child with his ex-wife, and the girl went to live with him after the divorce.
Though Mr Lin remarried and had 3 more children with his new wife, Tina’s disappearance hit him hard, and caused his family to split again.
According to his 2nd ex-wife, as the devoted father had spent most of his time searching for Tina overseas, his job and the family’s income was affected.
His then wife had to work to support the family, constantly doing overtime, but felt unappreciated by her husband.
On Mr Lin’s part, he said wasn’t happy that his wife was coming back from work so late at night.
Tina’s been missing for 18 years
After being missing for 18 years, Tina would be 32 years old today.
Though it’s been so long, we’re sure her family and friends still think about her, and hope to see her again.
As she seemed to have vanished into thin air, we can’t imagine the pain they must be going through.
Do come forward if you have info
The case of another missing teen, Felicia Teo, recently saw a breakthrough after 13 years when a 35-year-old man was charged with her murder just last week.
Thus, it’s still possible to crack a cold case even after many years.
So if you have any genuine information about her, please contact the police or Crime Library Singapore at 6293 5250.
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