The husband later tried to reunite the family in death by attemping to kill himself.
Trigger warning: The story contains graphic details that may be distressing to some.
Six months into her pregnancy, Choong Pei Shan seemed completely normal and was excitedly looking forward to the birth of her child. Nobody guessed that she and her husband, Teo Ghim Heng, had problems between them, or that the 39-year-old mother would not live long enough to see the birth of her second child.
Following an argument Teo had with his wife over their finances, Teo reportedly strangled his wife to death using a towel after she insulted him in front of their four-year-old daughter. The little girl cried as she watched the horrifying sight of her mother being choked, first with the towel and then with the bare hands of her father.
The nightmare did not end there as Teo then went on to put his daughter through the same fate as her mother, reported Mirror. After murdering his daughter, wife, and their unborn son, Teo then placed their bodies on a bed and left the two corpses inside their apartment in Singapore.
For seven days, Teo reportedly slept beside the dead bodies of his pregnant wife and daughter. To slow down the process of their bodies decomposing, Teo left the air-conditioner on, and he kept all the windows closed to prevent the pungent smell from reaching his neighbors, according to CNA.
Dad strangled pregnant wife and daughter & slept with bodies for a week https://t.co/wSJuQApetp— The Sun (@TheSun_NI) November 13, 2020
Several times, Teo tried to reunite with his family in death by killing himself, but his attempts failed. He even set the bodies of Choong and his daughter on fire and he tried to lie next to them. However, the husband "chickened out" because it was too hot.
Meanwhile, Choong's brother started growing worried about her when she did not show up to a family gathering where they were meant to celebrate Chinese New Year together as a family. After seeing that his sister was not responding to his messages or picking up calls, the brother, Gordon Choong Mun Chen, showed up at the couple's apartment, according to CNA.
When nobody answered the door or responded to him calling out their name, Gordon managed to open up one of the window panels, and he picked up a strong smell coming from inside.
Soon, Gordon was at the front door of the apartment with police officers. "Suddenly the door opened," Gordon said later in court. "The husband was standing behind the gate, so I asked the husband, 'where is my sister?'"
Teo refused to tell them but Gordon shouted, "Where is my sister? Tell me!"
"He came straight, very close to my face, (and) told me 'your sister is dead' and he dashed off," Gordon recalled.
Officers managed to catch Teo, and they also found the bodies of Choong and her daughter on a burned mattress, eight days after they were murdered on January 20, 2017.
Nothing hinted to the relatives that there was anything wrong between the couple as Gordon said about his sister, "She appeared to look forward to the (birth). After dinner, sometimes, we would walk around at the shopping mall and she would say, 'next time I need to get this kind of clothing, that kind of clothing'. She would keep talking about it, about the baby that was coming."
He slept on the same bed as the bodies for a week, with the air-conditioner turned on to delay the decomposition process.— AsiaOne (@asiaonecom) July 2, 2019
Woodlands double-murder trial: Property agent spent a week in flat after strangling pregnant wife and daughter: https://t.co/47ZYAPSWjV pic.twitter.com/JnpmLx9yJx
The investigation revealed that Teo had caught his wife with another man in October 2014, and has since had doubts about whether he was the father of the 4-year-old girl. He had also been struggling financially before their deaths as he lost his job and also had massive gambling debts and credit card bills to pay. All of this led to the couple having frequent arguments before the murders.
According to Daily Star, in November 2020, Teo was sentenced to death after being convicted for the murders of his family.