Virginia – The naked bruised body of Fatu Togba, 17, was found near an unfinished building on August 27. No one could confirm what had happened but residents alleged she was raped and murdered.
The body was seen at the back of the Liberia National Police depot at about 11 PM but there was no family contact. The police later quarantined the area while the body stayed a day before it was removed.
Sylvester Togba, the father of the deceased, was later informed by a family friend who had identified the body.
Born June 16, 2002, Fatu lived with her mother and aunties in Gbarpolu, and at times with father in Caldwell. She was later entrusted to her maternal aunties and father before her mother’s death in 2016.
“I remember on her mother’s death bed she asked me to take responsibility of our daughter, with what has happened now I don’t know what to say,” said Togba.
Fatu was an eighth grade student of Pamela Kay – a school 10 minutes’ walk away from where her body was discovered.
Mr. Togba narrated that Fatu left their home unknown to everyone on June 16 on her birthday and returned on June 30.
“I went to work when I came home, I didn’t see her, everyone saw her in the yard but she left without telling anyone. We couldn’t locate her; we tried her number it was off, calls were made to her friends and families to know her whereabouts but we still couldn’t find her,” he said.
In late June, Fatu phoned her eldest sister and said she was in Gbarpolu with her aunt but then someone had spotted her in Banjor and informed Mr.Togba.
According to him, he went looking for her but she sneaked in the house on a graduation day and the entire house was overwhelmed by her return.
Fatu again left the house on June 30, sneaking through the backdoor of the house.
Mr. Togba said he did not see his daughter from July 1 until her body was discovered in Virginia.
Before her death, she again communicated with her sister on July 24 asking her to beg their father to please re-enroll her in school.
“She promised to be good and wanted to return to school, and I agree despite there was neither grade sheet nor test papers from her last class.
“This was because children do go astray and we as parents should not leave them when they want to conduct themselves,” said Mr. Togba.
In early August, Fatu promised to apologize to their father but she never showed up.
While getting ready for work on the August 28, Mr. Togba said received a call about his daughter’s death.
“I told my wife that I was going Banjo- Virginia because of the call that confirmed the body on the street was our daughter.
“When I got there, I didn’t see the crime scene but they asked me to be calm, they later took her to Samuel Stryker funeral parlor, but she was first taken to JFK medical hospital,” said Mr. Togba.
“The problem is she was stubborn and all her friends were all males but she was humbled and always full of laughter.”
“She was called herself Yekeh Kolubah and I was George Weah because when I say this, she had her way to do it.”
Mr. Togba cannot tell why Fatu was a fond of the street, adding “I can’t tell you why she was always out of the home, I came from a very poor family and I never wanted my children to suffer like me, she felt that what I was saying it was wrong.”
Fatu was the second of four children and her father is worried that she is the second of his children who have died ‘mysteriously’.
He recalled the ordeal of his eldest son who also left their home and was also found dead on the street in October 2007.
“When I got on the scene, I tried to remember my son because it was the same way he died, on October 1, 2007. I never expected that to repeat itself for the second time. It’s hard for any parent,” he said.
“I hate to remember that I saw her lying in the street dead, because your child who you expect to take care of you in old age just died like that, no parent wants their child to die like that.”
He added; “When I got to the scene, I was asked not to touch the body and we went to stryker funeral parlor, the forensic team said they noticed her left eye bruise, like there was a fight, and there was sperm from her vagina, and she had many scratches all her body”.
Togba said he wanted answers because he believed there was a fight between Fatu and her assailant.
However, he promised to await the outcome of the investigation so he would bury his daughter’s corpse.
Meanwhile, the Liberia National Police has told the family that the investigation will be at a slow pace because they have logistical problems.
‘We do not have a vehicle and so we cannot effectively respond to finding more suspects,” a source at the Police’s crime against person added,
Solomon Zoker and Mohammed Zoker are the two suspects in Police custody undergoing investigation.