63-Year-Old Cleaner Passes Away At Home, Colleague Finds Body Lying Motionless On The Floor
The 63-year-old woman’s body was found only when her colleague visited her flat.
He’d come by after she failed to show up for work for three days.
Cleaner reportedly lived alone, passes away in flat
The unfortunate discovery was made on Friday (2 Sep) morning at about 11.46am, reported Shin Min Daily News.
The body of Madam Hong Jinzhu – name transliterated from Chinese – was found inside her third-floor flat in Block 2 Hougang Avenue 3.
She reportedly lived alone.
Deceased suffered asthma attack 7 days before
Madam Hong worked as a cleaner at a coffee shop in Block 327 Hougang Avenue 5.
Her colleague, a 68-year-old man identified only as Mr Wang, told Shin Min that seven days before her body was found, the deceased suffered an asthma attack but didn’t take medical leave.
Later, her supervisor found out she was unwell and made her take leave to rest.
Deceased didn’t return to work
Madam Hong was supposed to return to work three days ago, Mr Wang said.
However, she failed to report for work.
Her colleagues were puzzled at her no-show, as she was known to be very responsible and wouldn’t skip work for no reason.
As she wasn’t even answering her calls, her supervisor asked Mr Wang to pay her a visit.
Cleaner found on floor, foaming at the mouth
When Mr Wang arrived in front of Mdm Wong’s flat, he noticed that the lights were still on.
Though he knocked on the door for 10 minutes, nobody answered.
Thus, he peeked through a half-open window and saw something startling — his colleague lying motionless on the living room floor next to the sofa.
She was also foaming at the mouth.
Shocked, he quickly called the police.
Cleaner pronounced dead at the scene
The police confirmed to Shin Min that they’d received a report on a case of unnatural death that day.
A 63-year-old woman was found on the floor of the flat and pronounced dead at the scene.
Medicine and letters were among the items found next to her body.
The incident is under investigation, though the police have ruled out homicide.
Cleaner seen in lift days before she passes away
While Madam Hong didn’t report for work for three days, she apparently might not have been dead for that long.
Her neighbour, a 35-year-old housewife, told Shin Min that she saw her in the lift at about 3pm on Thursday (1 Sep).
She didn’t look unwell, the neighbour said.
Another neighbour, a 32-year-old housewife, said that though she didn’t really talk to Madam Hong, the elderly woman would usually greet small children.
Supervisor handling funeral arrangements
Madam Hong’s supervisor, identified only as Madam Chen, 62, said she’d known her for as long as 40 years, though the pair had lost contact for some time.
They got back in touch recently as the deceased had asked for help to find a job, so she introduced her to the cleaning job at the kopitiam.
Though she’d been working for only about half a year, many of her colleagues have donated towards her funeral expenses.
As Madam Chen doesn’t know how to contact Madam Hong’s relatives, she’ll handle her funeral arrangements for the time being together with colleagues.
Other seniors who passed away alone
Madam Hong isn’t the only senior to have passed away alone in the past year.
In Dec 2021, an elderly man passed away alone in his Toa Payoh flat after quarrelling with his brothers and not being in touch with them.
In January, another elderly man passed away alone in Toa Payoh.
In February, a 58-year-old man was pronounced dead after his neighbour discovered he’d collapsed in his Ang Mo Kio flat.
Just last month, a 79-year-old man passed away in the bedroom of his Boon Lay flat. His tenant found out only three days later.
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