The Jakarta Post
A dramatic police raid in Rawalumbu, a densely populated area of Bekasi, West Java, on Wednesday, ended with the arrest of Erwin Situmorang and the death of Ramlan Butar Butar, who was shot by detectives after he fought back against the police.
The two are suspects in the horrific mass murder in a luxurious house in the upscale residential area of Pulo Mas, East Jakarta, a day earlier. Six people died and five others suffered injuries after 11 people were locked up inside a 1.5 by 1.5 meter bathroom.
The police’s swift investigation led detectives to trace Ramlan’s whereabouts at his brother’s house in Rawalumbu.
(Read also: Pulo Mas murder victims buried in Tanah Kusir)
The police said Ramlan, who had been arrested by the police for other crimes, was the leader of the gang as he was nicknamed “captain”.
“Ramlan is an old player. He and his men are known as specialists in house burglary, especially during holidays,” National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said, adding that Ramlan was notorious for the sadistic violence he inflicted on his victims.
The police have also arrested a man identified only by the initial R for allegedly helping the suspects hide. Two other suspects are still at large.
Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Mochamad Iriawan said early investigations indicated that the criminals intruded into the house, belonging to 59-year-old architect Dodi Triono, and stole two bags, cell phones and a number of precious items such as a Rolex watch and millions of rupiah. The police have seized some of the items as evidence.
Dodi, his daughters, 16-year-old Diona Arika Andra Putri and 9-yearold Dianita Gemma Dzalfayla, as well as the girls’ friend, identified as Amel, and the family’s drivers, Yanto and Tasrok, were killed in the incident.
Iriawan said the investigation was assisted by footage from a number of CCTV cameras installed around the house.
In one of the clips, a man, wearing a black jacket and a cap, is seen entering the house’s unlocked gate.
Another man, suspected as Ramlan, is seen following him with a limp. Another clip shows one of the suspects pointing a gun at several people inside the house, while two other men — one of them holding a sickle — round up the victims in the living room before forcing them into the bathroom in which they were eventually locked up for several hours.
Police autopsy reports found the cause of death to be asphyxiation. Iriawan said there was no signs of violence on the victims’ bodies.
“It was Ramlan who locked them up. The bathroom’s key was disposed of,” he said.
According to Iriawan, the perpetrators allegedly put them inside the bathroom to let them search for valuables in the house more freely as well as to prevent the victims from calling for help.
Iriawan also said the bathroom, which was usually used by the family’s domestic helpers, did not have ventilation.
He said the suspects had been charged under articles 338, 363 and 333 of the Criminal Code on murder, robbery and kidnapping, which carry a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison.
He also said investigators were yet to find any motive behind the murder other than robbery.
The incident was first discovered by 16-year-old Sheila Putri who went the house to meet Diona on Tuesday morning. Sheila found the gate unlocked and heard moaning from the bathroom.
Sheila ran for help and notified nearby security officers and residents who then arrived at the house to discover 11 people cramped inside the bathroom with blood on the floor.
The five surviving victims include another of Dodi’s daughters and the family’s domestic worker, Santi. They were treated at the Kartika Hospital in Pulo Mas.
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