KPAI Commissioners hold a press conference in response to a murder case involving a 15-year-old girl in Jakarta on Monday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

Rehab or Prison for 'No Remorse' Teen Murderer?

BY :NUR YASMIN

MARCH 10, 2020

Jakarta. The Indonesian Child Protection Commission, or KPAI, has suggested rehabilitation instead of prison term would be a better course for a teenager who has admitted to killing a child in a gruesome murder case that has shocked the country.

The 15-year-old girl, identified by her initials N.F., is facing jail sentence for killing her neighbor's six-year-old daughter at her home in Sawah Besar, Central Jakarta.

She gave herself over to the police on Thursday, saying she had lured the victim to her bathroom with toys, then drowned and strangled her in the bathtub. N.F. kept the tied corpse in her wardrobe for a night.

Neighbors had actually come into the house in search of the little girl but they didn't check N.F's room. 

"A jail term may have a negative impact on the teenager. She won't change [into a better person] or get help in jail, because our jail cannot fulfill its correctional function," KPAI Commissioner Putu Elvina said in Jakarta on Monday.

Under Indonesian law, a juvenile murderer can receive a jail sentence of up to 10 years. 

The junior high school student has been in police custody since she turned herself in to the Taman Sari Police Station.

"This case is unique because the victim has no relations with the murderer. It remains a big question why the toddler was killed – she never hurt or insulted N.F. in any way. She was a very random victim," Putu said.

Putu advised the public not to assume the teenage killer suffers from mental illness before she has been assessed by psychiatrists.

"People have been saying she is schizophrenic or psychopathic. The truth is her case is still being assessed. We can't judge her right away since the [psychological] examination could take at least one to two weeks depending on how difficult the case might be," she said.

Some details of the murder have emerged after police interrogated the teenager, who has been described as "unapologetic."

N.F. keeps a diary filled with disturbing drawings and writings. In one instance, she threatened to kill her father, who's separated from her mother. She also drew numerous Slender Man figures, a fictional horror character who kidnaps and kills children.

N.F. claimed she was inspired to killing by horror movies, including Chucky. She also killed frogs and lizards with a fork, and threw her pet cat from the second floor when she was angry.

Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Yusri Yunus said N.F. had shown no remorse during questioning.

"She said she usually repressed the urge [to kill], but this time she couldn't hold it any longer. She said she felt satisfied after killing," Yusri said in Jakarta on Saturday.

N.F. kept updating her Facebook page after the killing, even making several jokes out of the situation. At one point, she said on a Facebook status published on the night of the killing that the toddler's corpse "might turn into a zombie."

N.F. is currently undergoing medical and psychological examination at the Police Bhayangkara Hospital in Jakarta. 

Know What Your Kids Do

The KPAI called on parents to pay closer attention to what films their children watch and what kind of content they browse on the internet.

N.F. might have been a victim of her parents' separation and strict upbringing, which caused her to behave beyond normal, Retno Listyarti, another KPAI Commissioner, alleged.

"This child has been living with a lot of rage, so when she committed the murder, she claimed to be satisfied because her rage had been unleashed," Retno said.

Apart from parents, teachers also need to pay more attention on children's psychological well-being, she said.

"The signs were all there – she was always a quiet student, and had been harming animals multiple times. Unfortunately, no one noticed anything was amiss, not even the counseling teacher," Retno said.

"The counseling teacher should be a shoulder to cry on for the students. They need to be heard. School is their second home, the place they look to when their real home cannot be relied on," she said.

The commission pledged to make sure the suspect could continue her schooling while in custody. 

"She's in her final year [of junior high school], we will help her prepare for the final exam. She might have to take the exam while still in custody," Retno said.
 

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