Yesterday morning I posed a question – in fact, I made a statement expressing my opinion – but could not imagine that a sad event would soon confirm my view.
I stated: “Ritual murders still occur in Liberia, notably during election campaigns, and the fear of ritualistic killings is a daily preoccupation of many Liberians.” See yesterday’s post Ritual murders and elections in Liberia
Then I read the news, later, yesterday evening. “Boy Discovered Dead in Nimba’s Sixth District; Cause of Death Linked to Ritualistic Rites”.
Sad news. I prefer to have been wrong. When will it end in Liberia? When will it stop, ritualistic murders? How come that it does not stop in Liberia (and elsewhere)?
Many questions. Now first the facts.
Boy Discovered Dead in Nimba’s Sixth District; Cause of Death Linked to Ritualistic Rites
Published: January 31, 2020
By: The Bush Chicken – Jerry Myers
SANNIQUELLIE, Nimba – A 9-year-old boy has been found dead in a hideout in Nimba’s sixth district, with his body partially dismembered and missing key body parts. The body of Lee Arthur was found on Thursday, Jan. 23 in Sahn Village.
The cause of death remains unknown. However, residents of the village suspect that his missing body parts is an indication that he may be a victim of a ritualistic murder.
Coroners from Boe and Quella administrative districts, as well as Liberia National Police officers in Bahn, Nimba’s seventh district, who visited the scene crime, have all ruled out death from natural causes, suggesting that the child was murdered.
The head of Boe and Quella Administrative District’s Coroner Office, Moses Kargou, described the incident as “too scaring” and the first of its kind in the district since he took up his position in 2005.
“Since my father who was the district coroner died in 2005, and the district people chose me to serve [in] the position, this is my first time to see such ugly act,” Kargou said. “People can get drowned in water, and several other deaths have been happening here. But today, to see someone butchered like [an] animal, it is bad.”
Kargou expressed doubts that the crime was committed by a stranger to the village, suggesting that the perpetrator must be a member of the community. His passionate plea, therefore, was for the police to bring the killers to justice. Kargou then pledged the village’s fullest cooperation in the investigation.
“We can only hear about these kinds of acts on the main road, but for someone to travel this far to commit such an act is really serious,” he noted.
Four persons are already suspected in the alleged murder and are currently in police custody in Bahn.
Following the coroners’ examination and police forensic investigation, the victim’s remains were turned over to his family who, without money to preserve it at a mortuary, has gone forward with burial.
There has been no formal indictment of any suspect as the police investigation continues.