Rape In Midst Of Ebola: Family Fury Over Daughter’s Fatal Death
Monrovia – The raping-death of 12 year old gi,l Mercy Karkpahn, allegedly by a man, Amos Quoi, aged 60, has her family and residents in the Paynesville community irate. Mercy’s body was found in an abandoned area in the New Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) community in Paynesville. With most of Liberia’s attention shifted toward the fight against Ebola, residents say some sick individuals are committing atrocities against innocent children in various communities under the guise of the deadly virus.
How it all happened
Moses Worlea, Mercy’s uncle explains that his niece revealed prior to her death, she was raped by the 60- year-old man commonly called Policeman in the LBS building. It all started two weeks ago when the family began noticing some changes in the girl’s usual way of walking, which raised a concern and a lot of unanswered questions. It was later, according to the uncle that Mercy admitted that she was raped by the old man in the LBS building. Fulton Dogolai, chairman of LBS Community was reportedly informed about the situation and advised the family to confirm their claim.
Explained Worlea: “She was not walking well; she was walking like someone has a sore between her legs. We the elder when our children are behaving that kind of way, we can be concerned. So we asked a midwife to check her and it was confirmed that she was raped, but the allege perpetrator denied.”
Worlea explained further that the family took Mercy to the Duport Road Clinic as was recommended by the Police, but she reportedly died en route to the hospital. The family then proceeded to Duport road clinic at which several medical checks were conducted, including X-Ray of her reproductive organ, and it was indicated she was raped by and elderly man and some organs were damaged. When the Police was informed, the uncle says, the family was told to bring the medical report from the Duport Road clinic.
“The X-ray is here, all the documents are here and the person Mercy singled out among millions of human being living around this community is the policeman (Amos Quaye) in questioned,” Worlea explained. But Worlea says before they arrived from the hospital, the perpetrator had escaped from the hand of the community chairman. So the Police arrested the two chairmen and jailed them for allowing the alleged perpetrator to escape.
Worlea says when he visited the Police station on Monday night to follow up on his niece’s case, the Police demanded him to take a photo of her corpse and bring it to them, a demand, Worlea says, the family declined to oblige to. He disclosed that he informed the Police that he was not a security personnel and that such an act could be rejected by the defendant in court.
“Last night when I went to the Police station and told them that I did not have money to bury my niece and prevailed on them that she had died as a result of a statutory rape, the Policeinstructed me to go and photograph Mercy and take it to them in the Soul Clinic Community and proceed with the burial.”
He said he informed the Police that he was not assigned with the LNP and so he could not do what they were asking. “This is a government case I can’t spoil the government’s case; If the government will not collect that body it will remain there until it get rotten. They suppose to go do their photograph and make your statement and forward us to the court”, Worlea added.
Ebola burial team
When the Ebola Task force Burial team arrived at the scene to pick up the body, Worlea and the family resisted, insisting that it would be unfair to the family to have Mercy taken away as another Ebola patient. “There was no test done in the body, we need proof. It is clear that she did not die of Ebola.” An inquiry made by FPA from the team, the team admitted that the Police in charge of the case called them to come take the body away for cremation, as it is done to all Ebola bodies.
Said Worlea:“No Ebola team in this republic will carry that body reason being that when the little girl was alive, she admitted that they raped her and we took her to a legitimate medical doctor of the republic of Liberia that told us that the little girl was raped by an elderly person. The report shows and the Police have those documents. So Ebola team cannot come to dismiss or dislocate the grave of this little girl.”
Lamenting, Worlea said that, he got really annoyed when an LNP officer demanded he provide a death certificate whereas they already had a medical record from a legitimate medical doctor and hospital in Liberia.
‘That One Can’t Be’
“What the Police told me last night pissed me off. The also Police told me the little girl does not have a death certificate, but she has a legitimate medical document, from which death certificate comes from. How dare you ask me for death certificate when she was being moved from one hospital to the other and she died on the way, or you want me prepare the death certificate myself?, he asked.
Worlea insists that the government bury Mercy in a cemetery. “We want to know her grave, but no man to God, no man will take this innocent child to carry her to Ebola camp to cremate, that one it can’t be. I feel hurt but I still exercise restrain because I respect the law; I live under the law, I am informed person who doesn’t have the right to take the law into my own hands.”
The chairman dismissed Worlea’s claims that he helps to facilitate or conceal information. A Police officer in the Women and Children Protection Section, who only identified himself as Howard, assigned to the case at the Soul Clinic Station, reluctantly said he was instructed by his boss 106 to call the burial team to take the body away.
The Police officer said that the president has given a mandate that at this point all dead bodies should be considered as Ebola bodies and that the allege perpetrator has been arrested and is in Police custody.