He found a human skeleton lying on the top of a toilet bowl.
On 9 Sept 2015, a worker clearing rubble from the guest room of the house stumbled upon another shocking discovery – a human skull and thigh bone.
This all happened at 17 Jalan Batai, a terrace house in Sembawang Hills estate that was occupied by a reclusive pair of sisters, Pearl and Ruby Tan.
Pear a former civil servant would have been 81 in 2006 when the first skeleton was found.
Her sister would have been 68 years old.
The state coroner has ruled out foul play, but couldn’t state for certain what the cause of death was.
But circumstantial evidence points indicates the home was occupied only by the sisters, and its believed the bones belong to them.
Coroner Marvin Bay said:
“Both sets of remains are notably those of elderly women, with the present set found to conform more closely to Madam Ruby Tan’s chronological age.”
Declaring an open verdict, he said:
“Because of the very considerable time elapsed before the discovery of the second set of remains from the date of probable demise, as well as the reclusive manner that the two sisters lived their lives, eschewing social support and company of others, this case remains an enduring enigma.”
A pathologist had estimated that the latest set of remains belonged to someone who died at least a few years ago and was likely to be 60 to 70 years of age.
Police later found more skeletal remains in the guest room.
Some of the bones were covered or buried in soil.
Neighbours said they never heard any arguments coming from the house where the sisters live.
Ruby had suffered from schizophrenia and had an outpatient treatment history with the Institute of Mental Health.
Pearl Tan was last seen at the wedding of a relative in 1991.
She had S$227,000 in bank deposits, and had last drawn from the account in 2004.
Investigations revealed that she had left Singapore via the Woordlands Checkpoint on July 18 2004, but there is no record of her ever returning.