Younger than two of my kids, at just nineteen years old, Sek Man Ng (aka Simon Ng) was a student, away from home and learning to get by on a budget, possibly for the first time ever. His parents were back in Hong Kong, but he and his big sister Sharon (Cho Man Ng) shared an apartment in New York, not too far from family; cousins in fact.
He was ill, under the weather long enough to be fed up with it, and, according to his blog, losing weight, having become used to getting by on one meal a day. The most poignant entry, for me, was made on 9th May 2005, when he commented that his sister would help him out if he asked, but that he never asked, always declined her offers, knowing that she was earning little enough money for herself.
On May 12th he had yet another ailment, probably from being run down and underfed, and missed his class at college due to a sore throat. I have to wonder whether this typical youngster would have been at home at all if it wasn't for that sore throat.
Here is his blog: ToTo247's Xanga Site. Because he was avoiding his unexpected visitor (some guy his sister had briefly dated), because he was working on an assignment, he was at the computer and had time to blog. Only because of that, the man who murdered both Sharon and Simon in a frenzied (and in Sharon's case premeditated) attack, has been caught.
The motive? Ridiculously, it was money. The guy just meant to steal enough to get himself a ticket home to Hong Kong, and things got out of hand when he realised how frugally the two were living - that there wasn't any money to be had. Having murdered the boy, he hung around even longer, to get his sister.
The story of how that day unfolded is too much to put here, but is in an article by the New York Daily News, first issued last Tuesday, 17th May 2005.
Simon, Sharon, Rest In Peace. I'm sorry it took me so long to find your story, and so very grateful that the New York police were faster than that - it took only five days for the information to be pieced together, for your killer to be arrested and the news to get out.
It really feels like 'one or ours' is gone. I finally know I see bloggers not just as a disparate mess of lifestyles and opinions, but as a community.
Its going to be an introspective kind of day.
Thanks to Philipp Lenssen at Google Blogoscoped for the story & links.