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Woman found living alongside decomposing bodies of husband, son for days

Jakarta Globe - November 1, 2023

Gandhi Armansyah, Jakarta – Neighbors were horrified to discover the bodies of Hamka Rusdi, aged 50, and his two-year-old son, Abid Qushayi, in their home in North Jakarta, while Hamka's wife, Hikmah Fujianti, and their four-year-old daughter, Afidah Dzakiah, were still residing there despite the overpowering stench of decay.

This mysterious tragedy in the crowded district of Koja has left investigators perplexed.

For several days, Hikmah and her daughter continued living in their home alongside the decomposing bodies. The deceased bodies were found in separate parts of the house.

When neighbors visited the house to investigate the source of the foul odor on Saturday, they found Hikmah and her daughter in an extremely frail and distressed state, suggesting that they had been without sustenance for days.

This situation has raised questions among those familiar with the family.

Sukarmin, the head of the Tugu Selatan housing complex where the family lived, said that outwardly, Hamka and his family did not appear to be living in poverty. "They had a car, and some neighbors even mentioned they had two," Sukarmin said.

Reportedly, Hamka worked at a hajj and umrah travel agency, and the family lived in a two-story house, with the upper floor serving as their residence and the lower floor rented out for a shop.

According to Gideon Arif Setyawan, the Chief of the North Jakarta Metropolitan Police, preliminary autopsy results suggest that Hamka passed away over ten days ago, while his toddler son passed away three days before being discovered by neighbors.

Gideon added that there were no visible injuries on Hamka's body. However, the victim had previously complained of illness to his family. "On the other hand, the child had a facial injury, but it cannot be conclusively determined as the cause of death," he said on Monday.

Diana, a neighbor who was the first to assist the rescued mother and child, noticed signs of malnutrition in both Hikmah and her daughter.

Diana, who is also a doctor, said, "These symptoms of malnutrition and dehydration were evident in both the mother and child, but it was more severe in the mother. The child was in a somewhat better condition, more alert."

Despite conducting two investigations at the scene, the police plan to conduct another soon. Hikmah, the primary witness in the case, is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation at the Kramat Jati Police Hospital. Whether a criminal investigation has commenced is yet to be confirmed, and the National Police's Forensic Laboratory has been called in to help unravel the mystery.

The surviving child has been entrusted to her relatives.

The police are also working to obtain CCTV footage in the neighborhood to piece together the sequence of events. Hamka was last seen and communicated with his relatives on October 18.

The discovery of the father and son's deaths occurred when neighbors forcibly entered their home on Jalan Balai Rakyat V Number 12 after detecting a foul odor. In addition to finding the two deceased individuals, residents found two people still alive: Hikmah and her eldest child.

"The child appeared to be very hungry," Diana said, noting that her vital signs, such as blood pressure and pulse, were stable. No signs of injury or bruising were found on their bodies.

However, their mouths showed discoloration, and there were signs of anorexia. They appeared weak, possibly due to dehydration and lack of food.

From the sequence of events, it is likely that Hikmah witnessed the final moments of her husband and their youngest child. Strangely, Hikmah did not seek help from her neighbors and endured the foul odor while living among the decomposed bodies.

Diana also observed signs of depression in the mother. Hikmah and Afidah are currently being monitored by the Women and Children Protection Team (PPA) of the North Jakarta Police.

In a separate incident on September 7, neighbors found the remains of a mother, Grace Arijani Harahapan, aged 65, and her adult son David Ariyanto, aged 38, in Bukit Indah Cinere, Depok, West Java, just south of Jakarta. Authorities determined the incident to be a case of suicide.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/woman-found-living-alongside-decomposing-bodies-of-husband-son-for-day