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A nine-month-old baby girl has died due to the inhuman acts at the hands of her caretaker’s husband in Bandar Baru Bangi, Malaysia.
The victim, Nur Muarzara Ulfa Muhammad Zaina, fondly called Zara, was raped, sodomised and abused before falling into critical condition.
Kajang police chief ACP Ahmad Dzaffir Mohd Yussof said the victim died at 10.30 am last Friday after being admitted for two days at the Serdang Hospital.
“Based on the statement of the victim’s mother, when she was sent to the caretaker’s home in the morning, the victim was in good health. However, the victim was said to have suffered from shortness of breath in the afternoon and was rushed to the Bandar Baru Bangi Clinic, before being referred to the Serdang Hospital.
“Further examination on the victim found a tear on the victim’s hymen, and a subsequent examination found that the victim’s anus was also torn,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
Ahmad Dzaffir said the post-mortem by the Serdang Hospital’s Pathology Department found that the victim’s death was due to a “Blunt Impact to the Head” whereby the baby’s skull was fractured.
“There were also bruises found on the top left and right sides of the victim’s head,” he said.
According to him, the victim’s parents who lived in the same housing estate as the caretaker had sent their child there since September.
Ahmad Dzaffir said the police had subsequently arrested the caretaker and her husband, who worked as a barber.
“We arrested the 28-year-old caretaker and her husband, aged 36. Urine tests found the man positive for Methamphetamine,” he added.
The man has been remanded for five days until Tuesday, and the case is being investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.
The 22-year-old mother of the victim, Noraihan Ab Aziz, said she was shocked when she found out that the woman who was supposed to be the caretaker did not care for her baby at all! Instead, it was the husband who had been taking care of the baby.
“I did not know my baby was not being taken care of by the woman who claimed she was the caretaker. The one who took care of my baby was her husband!” cries Noraihan.
Zara was rushed to the Serdang Hospital on Wednesday after she allegedly choked on a piece of apple, before she died at the hospital on Friday morning.
Post-mortem found that the baby had been subjected to physical and sexual abuse, including fractures on her skull and torn hymen.
The caretaker and her drug user husband had been arrested since and remanded to facilitate investigation into Zara’s death.
The police informed Noraihan that the man had been taking care of Zara since day one because he considered his wife to be ‘slow’.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, the devastated young mother recalled on how her heart sank when a doctor called her from the hospital to notify the severity of Zara’s condition.
She said she had been sending her two children, a son aged five and Zara, to the caretaker since September, after the woman approached her on Facebook for a fee of RM550 for each child.
About two weeks ago, Noraihan noticed bruises on Zara’s arms, thighs and forehead.
“Initially, I was reluctant to send her there again. I even brought it up with the caretaker but she told me that her 1-year-old son had accidentally bitten her. Zara also refused to drink milk because of her swollen lips and gums.
“After that, my husband and I decided to send Zara to my husband’s sister in Klang. But Zara cried a lot over there, so we had no choice but to bring her back to the woman,” she said, adding that Wednesday was the first day she sent Zara back to the caretaker.
On that fateful morning while she was at work, she texted the 28-year-old caretaker and asked about her baby.
“The woman assured me that Zara was calm around her, but would cry when the husband carried her. Otherwise, she said everything was under control. A few hours later, I got a call from the hospital,” she said, her voice cracked and she was close to tears.
Noraihan said she only found out from the police that the husband took care of Zara and not the woman she had been dealing with all this while.
“When she first approached me, the woman convinced me that she would take care of my children. She said she’s also a mother of a young son. I never expected it to end this way. All this while, I was under the impression that the woman was the one taking care of my child. I had no idea that it was her husband! I met him whenever I drop my children off or pick them back. He always had a very serious face,” added Noraihan, who had just started working at a factory in Bangi.
“I feel heart sick whenever I think about what he has done to my baby. I really want to see the person responsible to be severely punished. This is a difficult time for us, and we have accepted Zara’s death as fate. But we want to seek justice,” she said.
Zara’s remains were buried at Kampung Lubok Gong Muslim Cemetery in Kelantan on Saturday, at 7.50am.