BATU PAHAT, March 28 — A policeman was arrested yesterday after the body of his friend, who was reported missing for a week, was found buried in the backyard of his home at Min Garden, Bandar Putera Indah in Tongkang Pechah here.
It was learnt that the 38-year-old lance corporal with the Batu Pahat district police buried the body after his friend was believed to have died in his house.
A team from the Batu Pahat serious crimes division (D9) made the discovery at 5.30pm after information led them to the backyard of the policeman’s single-storey semi-detached house.
However, the cause of the man’s death is not yet known and pending a full investigation by police.
Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd confirmed the arrest and said investigators were acting on a missing person’s report by the deceased’s 36-year-old wife at the Tongkang Pechah police station.
“Investigators suspected something amiss after the policeman replied in a suspicious manner when quizzed over the victim’s disappearance.
“After further questioning, the policeman brought investigators to a fresh mound of red soil in his home’s backyard where the missing man’s remains were later found buried,” said Mohd Khalil to Malay Mail when contacted today.
Initial investigations revealed that the deceased had been missing since March 18 after he left his family home in Kampung Tambak Mukim 3 in Peserai here.
Due to the nature of the case, police also called in forensic pathologists from the Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital in Muar and the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru for assistance.
Mohd Khalil said that the suspect tested positive for methamphetamine abuse in a preliminary urine test.
“The suspect had previous drug-related records while serving in the police force under the discipline and drug control scheme.
“Police are investigating the case under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder,” said Mohd Khalil.
It is understood that investigators are also trying to determine the victim’s relationship with the suspect.
According to a police source, the missing person’s report by the victim’s 36-year-old wife had claimed that the policeman, a known friend of her husband, had earlier spoken to her younger brother about disposing of her husband’s body after he had apparently died from a drug overdose in his house on March 18.
“However, the wife’s younger brother had declined to have anything to do with the disposal as among one of the suggestions was to also leave the deceased body along the road in Ayer Hitam to make it look like a ‘hit and run’ road accident,” said the source on condition of anonymity.
The source said that investigators are also looking into the possibility that both were involved in consuming drugs at the home where the deceased was said to have overdosed and died.
“However, we are not dismissing foul play and also the obvious sign where the deceased was buried in the suspect’s backyard,” explained the source, adding that investigators will also wait for the post-mortem results.