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Family Claims Man Died Of Starvation After Getting Locked In PJ Apartment, Autopsy Says Heart Attack

Family Claims Man Died Of Starvation After Getting Locked In PJ Apartment, Autopsy Says Heart Attack

In this mindboggling case, a man in his 40s died in a rented home in Petaling Jaya after the landlord bolted the door from outside, not realising he was inside.

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A man in his 40s allegedly died of starvation in his rented home in Petaling Jaya after he was locked inside his flat.

However, Selangor police chief Hussein Omar Khan said an autopsy showed the deceased died of a heart attack and not of starvation.

The case is still classified as a sudden death report as no criminal elements have been found so far. Anyone with information is encouraged to come forward to help with the investigation.

The man was found dead in a severely malnourished state in his rented home by neighbours. Image: Sin Chew Daily

What led up to this moment?

In this bizarre case, the landlord decided to lock the apartment without realising the tenant, who works as a Grab driver, was still inside the house.

She decided to bolt the apartment’s iron door from the outside on the evening of 2 July at 7.30pm after the man failed to pay nearly three months of rent and was allegedly unreachable by phone.

The landlord said the rent was RM800 but was increased to RM1,000 over the last two years.

She claimed not to check up on the man for the past 18 years to respect his privacy. She said the man was a quiet person who always paid his rent on time on the first week of each month.

He last contacted her in March 2023 to say he would be paying his rent late as he got into a car accident in Johor.

She allegedly tried to reach out to the man 30 times by phone call but received no response. She also went to the unit to find the man but he did not come to the door.

According to Sin Chew Daily, the landlord believed the deceased had left and didn’t send anyone to break down the door to look inside.

A picture of the man allegedly taken 6 months ago. Image: Sin Chew Daily

Neighbours found the dead man’s body a month after the incident in a severely malnourished state. Compared to his old picture, those who knew him claimed he was never that thin.

It was believed the deceased had no way to call for help since he was unable to pay for phone credits.

The landlord did not realise what had happened until she got a call from the police.

Why did he not escape?

The landlord believed the deceased had every chance to save himself and could not comprehend why he did not look for a way out or shout for help from the neighbours.

This was because the living room and kitchen are close to the balcony of the adjacent unit and there are people entering and exiting from the bottom floor.

The landlord claimed that since the incident, the investigating officer had only called to beg her to permit the deceased’s family to pick up his belongings in the apartment unit.

The family members of the deceased were distraught and also intend to sue the landlord for negligence.

One of the family’s lawyers said shutting the man in was definitely a lethal mistake whether or not the landlord was aware of the tenant’s presence inside the flat.

Also, landlords should not detain their tenants who are behind on their rent. If tenants have failed to pay the rent, the landlord should obtain a court order through the court or go through the small claims court to manage the issue.

The lawyer added that it was his first time encountering such a case throughout his whole legal career and wanted to spread awareness about it to prevent similar incidents from happening.

This case still brought up questions such as why no family members or friends came to check up on him after so long.

Netizens also wondered why the landlord added a metal chain lock to the already padlocked door.

They also pointed out that starvation would have taken a longer time to take effect.

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