SUNGAI BULOH: The mood had been sombre, but there was an air of resignation. The body of autistic boy, Zayn Rayyan Abdul Matiin, had been found in a river in Damansara, Selangor, after he went missing for 34 hours.
Then, the grief turned into shock and despair. Word got out that foul play was involved in the death of the six-year-old and he had been murdered.
Family members who had been willing to mingle with the media turned cold when news broke about the murder at about 4.40pm yesterday.
When contacted, Selangor police chief Comm Datuk Hussein Omar Khan confirmed that marks had been found on the body and neck during the post-mortem.
“Investigations are now being conducted under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder,” he said.
The death had initially been thought to be an unfortunate accident. The non-verbal boy had gone missing at around noon on Tuesday but his body was found in a river on Wednesday night.
The boy’s mother, Ismanira Abdul Manaf, 28, had been distraught even before news of the murder broke.
She broke down in tears as her husband consoled her.
“I still can’t accept this. I can’t sleep tonight. Even now I feel that he is still with me because I couldn’t imagine it ending like this,” she said before crying.
Her husband, Zaim Ikhwan Zahari, also 28, had asked police to investigate the matter thoroughly, adding that his family also extended their appreciation to all who assisted in the search.
When it was revealed that it was a murder investigation, the parents were too shocked for words.
Damansara MP Gobind Singh Deo, who visited the family in the afternoon, said his office was willing to offer any assistance to the family.
“With respect to funeral arrangements, I have told the family that if there is any cost involved, we will assist. What has happened is tragic,” he said.
The body was released to the family at around 5.55pm yesterday and a hearse made its way to the Seksyen 9 Kota Damansara burial site. Family members refused to comment and the funeral concluded at 7pm.
On Wednesday night, some 100 police personnel and residents combed over 18 blocks consisting of 2,484 housing units at Idaman Apartments to search for the missing boy.
Ismanira appealed for help when Zayn Rayyan, one of her two children, had gone missing after she had picked him up from school. Zayn Rayyan was last seen near Block R of Idaman Apartments along PJU 10/1 at around noon on Tuesday.
Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Mohamad Fakhrudin Abdul Hamid said Zayn Rayyan’s body was discovered in a river near his home in Damansara Damai at about 10pm on Wednesday.
At a press conference last night, Bukit Aman CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said Zayn Rayyan suffered injuries consistent with strangulation (compression to the neck) as well as other injuries believed to be defensive wounds.
He said the boy had possibly struggled with his murderer.