Bukit Mertajam Hospital, Penang, Malaysia. Photo: Google Maps

A 21-year-old maid who was covered with wounds and had been forced by her employers to sleep outdoors with a dog was pronounced dead in a hospital in Penang on Sunday afternoon, a day after being rescued from her ordeal.

An Indian woman and her brother, who had allegedly punished their Indonesian domestic worker after accusing her of theft, have been remanded on suspicion of murder.

The victim named Adelina, from Medan, had been a domestic worker in Malaysia for two years. She was employed by a 36-year-old woman and her 39-year-old brother at a two-story semi­-detached house in Taman Kota Permai, a housing estate in Bukit Mertajam, Penang state, Guang Ming Daily (Malaysia) reported.

At 4pm on Saturday, police received a neighbor’s report about a woman who appeared in a very bad shape and was in the company of a black Rottweiler on her employers’ porch. She had apparently not been permitted to enter the house for more than a month.

Rescuers arrived at the scene and found the terrified maid, who could not respond much apart from shaking her head. She had a swollen head and face, burn marks on her legs and injuries on her feet.

At 6pm on Saturday, police arrested the two Indians, who had allegedly forced their maid to sleep outdoors after accusing her of stealing more than 100,000 ringgit (US$25,270) worth of gold jewelry.

The pair denied abusing the Indonesian woman, but the woman did admit that she had slapped Adelina in the face once or twice.

The burn marks were made by chemicals that had been carelessly spilled by the maid herself while cleaning a clogged toilet, the employers claimed.

The victim was sent to Bukit Mertajam Hospital on Saturday, where her condition became critical at noon on Sunday. She was pronounced dead at 4:45pm despite resuscitation efforts.

The two suspects were required to be remanded until Wednesday for investigation for murder.

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