Liberia: Family of ‘Gang Rape’ Victim Frowns on Police for Being Complacent with Investigation
Monrovia – The family of a 31-year-old woman, the late Jacqueline J. Anderson, is calling on the authorities of the Liberia National Police to launch an investigation to ascertain to cause of her death and to bring to book the alleged perpetrator(s).
Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh, [email protected]
According to Maima Metzger Beyan, sister of deceased, Jacqueline’s lifeless body was found in Barnesville on December 29.
Mrs. Metzger-Beyan noted that although the cause of death has not been established by the Liberia National Police (LNP), it appeared that her sister was gang raped, beaten and killed.
“From the look of things, we believe that our sister was raped, beaten and left to die. She was found naked with scars and blood all over her body including her private parts,” she lamented.
She added that the late Jacqueline, who was affectionately called Jugbeh left behind three children including a seven-month-old baby (a male child) who has not been found since she was discovered dead.
According to her, the family was told that she left the child with an unknown godmother.
Prior to her death, the family said she left her mother’s house in Brewerville, Bushrod Island where she was staying and was last seeing partying with a friend at Point Four, Bushrod Island. The deceased’s friend is still at large and two persons have been arrested in connection to her death.
Family Blames Police for “being reluctant” and called for speedy investigation
The deceased’s family has expressed anger and disappointment over the “complacence and reluctance” of the police with the investigation.
According to family members, since their sister’s body was discovered on the 29th of December, it was not until Wednesday, January 2 that the police, following some forensic tests on the body which had earlier been deposited at a local funeral home, said there was no lacerations found on the body; signaling that she may have died a natural death.
However, the family quoted the police as telling them that if they are not satisfied with the police report, they (he family) can bring in pathologist to conduct an autopsy.
They furthered that one of the suspects claimed that the late Jacqueline owed him an unspecified sum of money and admitted to beating on her prior to her death after an argument ensued between them when he had gone to claim his money.
However, how she ended up at the resident of the one of the suspects remains unclear.
Meanwhile, the LNP has confirmed to FrontPage Africa that a body of a woman believed to be in her thirties was found in Barnesville and deposited at the Abraham Roberts funeral home and two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident undergoing investigation.
Police Spokesperson, Moses Carter confirmed that the body was examined in the presence of the family and there was no laceration.
Carter added that the family is welcome to request the government for an autopsy.
“This is a routine. If the family continues to fight the issue of mysterious death, it is only an autopsy that can settle the case. And on the issue of the autopsy, the government has to bring in someone to the do the autopsy.”
The deceased’s sister. Mrs. Beyan, speaking to FPA earlier before the examinations, noted that although the head of the Criminal Service Department of the LNP assured her that the police will launch a full investigation, the LNP’s continuous silence over the incident was disappointing.
“What is more troubling is up till now, we (the family) don’t know where her baby is, and the police is complacent and reluctant with the investigation. This is frustrating and disappointing,” she vented.
Her sentiments were echoed by her sister, Hawa Metzger, an advocate based in the United States.
Speaking via telephone, Miss Metzger revealed that she will be coming to Liberia “very soon” to join the rest of the family in seeking justice for their murdered sister.
She questioned the result of the police’s examinations on grounds that the tests were done after the body was embalmed; something she said the family did not sanction.
“I want the truth to be told about my sister’s death. Whether she was raped, beaten and killed, I would love to hear the medical report. As an advocate who has been speaking up against societal ills, justice has always been my cause and I am asking the same justice for her. I am asking the law to work for her and nothing else.”
She continues: “In all my advocacies, I have been talking about this thing over and over. And I will be in Liberia, and I will fight for my sister. I will not allow this to rest, while her case becomes a cold case like so many other victims. I am hearing that she was brutally murdered. They beat her and because of this the body cannot be kept long. For God’s sake, she was somebody’ sister and somebody’s mother. No matter who she was with and what she was doing, there is no justification for her life to be taken in such a gruesome manner.”
She is meanwhile calling on the public including anyone who may have any information surrounding her sister’s death and the whereabouts of her nephew (her late sister’s baby) and the friend she was last seen with to come out.
Although the cause of her death has not been independently established by investigators, the late Jacqueline is the second victim to be discovered dead under mysterious circumstances in Gardnersville within less than a month.
It can be recalled that in mid-December 2018, 15 years old Vivian Wreh was gang-raped to death in New Georgia Estate.
Police later confirmed that before Vivian’s demise, she fought effortlessly with the alleged perpetrators who overpowered her by inflicting a deep wound on her back.
Prior to her death, the victim was also last seeing partying with her friends at a club within the area.
Despite a tough rape law in Liberia, there continues to be an increase in sexual and Gender Based violence (SGBV) cases.
According to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, in 2018 alone (over a period of nine months), 1,484 SGBV cases were reported, and of the total, 971 were rape cases.