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Greenridge Crescent boys’ deaths: 48-year-old father faces second murder charge

SINGAPORE — Xavier Yap Jung Houn, the father of two 11-year-old boys found dead a month ago in an Upper Bukit Timah canal, was handed a second murder charge on Friday (Feb 18).

Greenridge Crescent boys’ deaths: 48-year-old father faces second murder charge

On Jan 27, 2022, Xavier Yap Jung Houn (third from left) was taken to the scene where the bodies of his two sons were found.

SINGAPORE — Xavier Yap Jung Houn, the father of two 11-year-old boys found dead a month ago in an Upper Bukit Timah canal, was handed a second murder charge on Friday (Feb 18).

The 48-year-old was previously charged with the murder of only one of his sons, Ethan Yap E Chern, on Jan 21 at a covered canal near a playground along Greenridge Crescent. The charge was amended on Friday to reflect that it allegedly happened between 4.23pm and 6.18pm.

Yap is also now further accused of killing his other child, Aston Yap Kai Shern, that same day. The boys were said to have special needs.

On the day, the police responded to his call for help and found the two boys lying motionless near the playground. They were pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic.

Yap was later arrested following “round-the-clock investigations”, the police said.

He has been remanded since Jan 23 when he was first hauled to court, two days after the alleged killing. Four days later, police officers took him back to the scene where the boys’ bodies were found.

On Friday, a police prosecutor told the court that investigations have not yet been completed, pending Yap’s medical report — concerning injuries he had sustained — and a Health Sciences Authority report. No other details were given about the injuries.

“We do not have an estimated date of completion at the moment,” the prosecutor said, adding that Yap’s Institute of Mental Health report has also been uploaded in the court system. He was earlier remanded for psychiatric observation.

District Judge Terence Tay adjourned the case to April 26, following a pre-trial conference in the High Court on April 12. Yap remains in remand due to the non-bailable nature of his capital charges.

His lawyer, Mr Anil Singh Sandhu, told him that he would be “seeing him next Wednesday afternoon”. Yap appeared in court via a video-link with his head shaved.

Anyone convicted of murder can receive the death penalty.

The 2m-wide canal where the boys' bodies were found cuts through a small, secluded playground at the edge of a residential neighbourhood, and leads to a forested plot of land behind it.

Residents in Greenridge Crescent previously told TODAY that the entire playground and the surrounding forested area were cordoned off by the police from around 7pm that Friday night.

One resident said that she saw more than a dozen police vehicles and ambulances and many officers combing through the area with searchlights and search dogs.

Two days later, members of the public lined the canal with candles and flowers. Representatives from six religious organisations also held an inter-faith prayer session.

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court crime murder family Greenridge Crescent

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