IT WAS one of the most public places to hide a heinous crime.
But a Yishun Avenue 4 bus stop, opposite Naval Base Primary School, was where a dead baby was discovered yesterday.
It was around 2.20pm when a 50-year-old lorry driver, who wanted to be known only as Mr Toh, saw something strange at the bus stop while walking home.
It could have been a dog, or a person.
'It looked like a slab of meat,' he said in Mandarin.
He said he could not see the head because it was covered by a bucket (which was too small to hold the whole body). The body was about 30cm long, and blood-red. He said he could not see any limbs.
'But I saw bones,' he said.
When asked to explain, he made a chopping motion with his hands, and declined to explain, saying he wasn't certain.
Next to the body was a brown paper bag, with blood inside.
'I was not scared, but I didn't dare to touch the thing,' he said.
He called the police. It was only when the police removed the small bucket that he realised it was a baby, with a head of black hair. It's not known if the baby was a boy or a girl.
Police said the baby was pronounced dead at 2.45pm by paramedics. Investigations are ongoing.
When The New Paper on Sunday arrived on the scene, a scattering of bystanders had gathered across the road, near the gate of Naval Base Primary School.
Mr Azaharin Hussain, 46, a taxi driver, wondered: 'I think someone threw the baby behind the bus stop because there is an open space behind it.'
His wife, Madam Nora, 44, a housewife, said Mr Toh had told them he saw that the baby's neck and hands had been 'potong' (sliced in Malay).
'It's very bad, very sad to hear,' she sighed.
Madam Salbiah, 33, a patient care officer who was with Madam Nora, said: 'It's a baby. I mean, who would expect this kind of thing? It's quite heartless.'
Madam Nora added: 'I think someone must have abandoned it. I feel so sad. I have four kids. Someone who gives birth will be so happy. How can they do this? If you don't want the baby, give it to me.'
Another bystander, Madam Rebecca Tay, 51, a housewife who was with her sister, added: 'Yes, if you don't want the baby, just give it away. Don't throw it away.'
Another question on their minds: Why dump the baby at a bus stop?
Madam Tay suggested: '(Maybe it's because) it's a Saturday, the school is closed, and there's a grass field behind the bus stop.'
Next to Naval Base Primary School is Orchid Park Secondary School, and there were footballers using the pitch later in the day.
Many cyclists and joggers were also using the sidewalk.
The bus stop is on a ledge over a drain. Tossing the plastic bag (which Mr Toh said was big enough to hold the baby) under the bus stop would have been easy.
For the bystanders, the buzz was: Why the bus stop? Was it panic? Did the person want the baby to be discovered?
Or, said one bystander, could he or she have taken the bus with a body in a plastic bag?