Skip navigation and go to main content

3rd Grade High School Student raped, mutilated and murdered

October 1998


Jakarta - The murder of a member of the volunteer team for the victims of the riots during the past May 13-14, Marthadinata, in Prof. Dr. Saparinah Sadli's opinion, is the epitome of the terror that the volunteer team has been a target of. Saparinah Sadli's opinion was expressed on Saturday, October 10, when he was at the funeral home on Jl. Berlian III No. 25, east Jakarta. Along with Saparinah were several members of Tim Relawan (the volunteer team) such as Romo (Father) Sandyawan. Also the coordinator of Kontras, Munir, SH.

This terror is connected to Tim Relawan's efforts in seeking help and investigating the facts related to the riots in May 13-14. Therefore, according to Saparinah, the police is hoped to be able to swiftly solve the murder of Ita. Solving Ita's murder may call for a larger investigation, so that the culprit or the motive behind this murder could be used to uncover other cases of terror that have been suffered by Tim Relawan.

Seeing the current evidence at hand, including that nothing were found missing, Saparinah was confident that the murder did not have a purely criminal motive. Kontras' coordinator Munir said that it could be that Ita's murder was related to her work as a member of Tim Relawan. However, Munir could not yet see the links that ties the murder of Ita with her activities in Tim Relawan.

Ita, a third grade high school student of SMA Pascalis, was found dying by her father, Leo Haryono, on Friday (Oct. 9) at around 6 pm. That afternoon Leo came home and saw the cover of the door ripped open. Therefore Leo opened the door by force. However, upon entering the empty house, he did not see anything suspicious. Leo then proceeded to the upper level where Ita's room was. Ita, during that fateful day, did not go to school because she was feeling ill.

When Leo entered Ita's room, his heart pounded. He found his daughter lying on her chest on the floor with her hand tied with an electric cable. Initially Leo thought that her daughter was shocked by electricity. But when he turned his daughter's body around, he realized that she had died. There was blood all over. And her body was full of stab wounds on her belly, chest, heart, and arms. And the worst thing was that her throat was severed. Leo then panicked, and yelled for help. The police themselves are still investigating.

Subject: More news about Ita's sexual assault and murder case

You may have read from the news that Ita's sister made a statement to the effect that Ita was murdered by the robber and Ita never was a volunteer that helped the rape victims. However, we received information from a reliable source in Indonesia that Ita's sister was interrogated for 2 hours by the police before she came out to make the statement.

Now Ita's family have gone into hiding. Ita and her mother were preparing to accompany 4 rape victims to the US to testify before Ita was murdered. All the rape victims had also gone into hiding. Several volunteer team leaders were there with the family shortly after Ita's death was discovered.

It was reported that people saw traces of sperm at the crime scene and nothing valuable was missing from the house. The doctor who conducted the autopsy reported that preliminary examinations showed signs of a sexual assault. It was undoubtedly a cruel murder sowing seeds of fear among the people. ``There were 10 wounds on her body and her head was almost cut off at the throat,'' Dr. Mun'im Idris was quoted as saying.

In Jakarta, the make shift office that was set up to provide legal help to the rape victims was stoned by some groups of people. The volunteer teams are now very scared and are uncertain about their efforts and their future.

Wei Siong Tan, Ph.D. President Indonesians of Chinese Heritage Foundation (ICHF)