The Unsolved Murder Of Goh Lee Fang: Sexually Assaulted & Stabbed At Her Boutique In Damansara
Beauty can be a curse as much as a blessing. These were the sentiments of Goh Lee Fang’s father, when discussing the brutal account of her sexual assault and murder at a boutique located on the first floor of a mall in Damansara.
The 26-year-old, commonly described by customers as “stunning” and friendly, co-owned the children’s clothing store with her two friends. The shop, christened Ovo – The Difference, had only been running for three months before the incident occurred.
On the morning of 17 February 2005, shopkeepers spotted Lee Fang opening the store at 10 a.m, as per usual.
Her business partner arrived at the scene hours later, around 1.15 p.m, only to find Lee Fang sprawled lifeless atop the bloodied floor at the back of the boutique, with seven stab wounds to her body. It was also confirmed that she had been subjected to sexual assault.
Apart from her handphone, police discovered that her belongings, including her wallet consisting of RM500 in cash, were still at the store; ultimately eliminating the motive of mere robbery. In fact, as time went by, speculations regarding the more “personal” element behind the murder rose substantially.
Alas, according to news reports, the boutique was located within the area of the mall that was still under construction and therefore, despite the abundance of CCTV cameras surrounding the boutique, not all had been running as of yet. Many also contended that the existing cameras tended to focus on the escalators rather than walkways leading to the shops.
Subsequently, with the limited available footage, police arrested a 32-year-old businessman who was last spotted entering the boutique. Besides being detained and having his statement recorded, the suspect was brought to the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) where samples of his body fluids, fingernails and hair were collected, to see if they matched those taken from police at the scene.
Nevertheless, the findings failed to link him to the crime, and he produced a strong alibi to match. He was released, and no reports of new suspects followed; however it was known that police interviewed four other people to aid investigations.
One of which were Lee Fang’s ex-boyfriend, who admitted that he had been in touch with her despite ending the relationship.
Due to the camera situation, or lack thereof, citizens asserted that the crime seemed like an “inside job”, most likely carried out by a security guard or construction worker who was familiar with the camera coverage, or who possessed the ability to manipulate it – but these claims were never proven.
Lee Fang’s grandmother, whom she lived with had been the one to identify her body at University Malaya Medical Centre mortuary. Her mother had passed away when she was young, and her father, a general manager of a plantation group, frequently travelled for business. In fact, on the day of the murder, her father had been in Dubai.
He returned home shortly after her death, when he was quoted as saying, “A girl should not be too beautiful but just regular-looking.”
Other details that were disclosed concerning Lee Fang’s life were that she was the youngest of three siblings. It was also reported that she drove a Toyota Harrier as a personal vehicle.
Lee Fang’s funeral mass was held at Assumption Church and she was finally buried at the Nilai Memorial Park in Seremban on February 21 2005. On her first death anniversary, her family had offered a RM10,000 reward for information that could trace the killer, to no avail.
News of her brutal death sparked warm comments from numerous members of the society, some of which knew Lee Fang personally, and others who had come across her while shopping at the boutique. These remarks mirrored one another, all of which claiming she had been an attractive young girl from a well-to-do family.
One customer also narrated her experience at the store, when Lee Fang, who wore a ponytail, attended to her patiently and helped pick out clothing for the customer’s baby.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family, and wish ultimate justice upon her death.
*Feature image for illustration purposes only.