The Government of Liberia has released what it says are the final reports relating to the deaths of former Liberia Petroleum Refining Company or LPRC Managing Director Harry A. Greaves, and Ms. Victoria Zayzay, the young woman found dead in a police withholding cell on October 20, 2015.
Mr. Greaves was discovered dead on the beach behind the Executive Mansion Ground on January 31, 2016, two days after he was last seen at the RLJ Kendeja Resort Hotel. Both deaths sparked series of controversies early this year with calls for repeated postmortems to be performed on the lifeless bodies completely decade.
In the final reports, which are no different from previous preliminary reports released by the Government in February this year, the Government maintains that there was no foul play in both deaths.
The reports, which are said to be findings from the Liberia National Police Investigations released through the Ministry of Justice also collaborated findings of the Special Investigating Team from the United States of America, which concludes that Mr. Harry Greaves died by drowning. Details of the final reports are yet to be made available to the public.
“The police investigation together with the final report of the autopsy conducted on the body of Mr. Greaves, on February 8, 2016, established that the cause of death is as a result of asphyxiation by salt water drowning,” excerpts of a Police statement issued through the Justice Ministry said.
“The Liberia National Police investigation has established that the death of Victoria Zayzay was not as a result of homicide, but that the deceased committed suicide,” the release further noted.
It could be recalled Mr. Greaves left his house on Thursday January 28, 2016 after he had finally agreed to sign a protracted two years divorce paper filed by his widow, Precious Andrews Greaves to find a temporary shelter to move in. He did not return for his belongings, family sources say.
On Friday afternoon at about 2:30 PM, Mr. Greaves entered the RLJ Kendeja Resort Hotel, with a bag hanging on his back, as he instructed his driver to wait for him in the hotel’s parking lot. As he was entering the hotel, unknown of his whereabouts and activities, his wife, Mrs. Greaves had called on his family members to come and collect his (Mr. Greaves) things from their Airfield residence, constructed by the father of Precious Andrews Greaves-G. Henry Andrews, a former Information Minister and Chairman of the Elections Commission that brought jailed ex-President Charles Taylor to power.
A cash receipt shows that the late Greaves bought two scoops of ice screams around 3:07 P.M. at the hotel and walked away from the counter. He was later seen by a surfer doing a beach walk from the RLJ’s Hotel Resort towards the Cooper’s Beach in shorts and a T-shirt around 4 PM, this paper learnt.
At around 6 PM, while sitting under one of the palaver huts within the RLJ Hotel premises, Mr. Greaves still in his beach wear with his clothes and the back bag containing his laptop and documents was informed that the beach would be closing, one closed family source narrated.
By 10 PM, Greaves whereabouts became unknown as only his clothes and laptop bag could be seen under the very palaver hut he had sat before being informed by the hotel management that it was about to close beach activities there.
“By 10 PM, they discovered his computer, the bag containing his documents, but did not find him,” the family source went on. By around 12:30 AM on Saturday morning, the driver had called Mrs. Greaves informing her of what was unfolding at the hotel.
Mrs. Greaves first thought, according to our family source was that her extreme husband may have been locked up in one of the rooms with a concubine. But that thought changed after she had not heard from him up to Saturday evening.
It was at this point she began to call friends and other associates informing them about her fears that she had not heard from Mr. Greaves since he was last heard of at the hotel. Whatever Mrs. Greaves fears were, the unfortunate happened; her husband had been discovered dead and was now lying on a beach the following day, which was on Sunday January 31, 2016.
On Tuesday February 9, exactly nine days after Mr. Greaves body was discovered on the beach, a provisional autopsy conducted by Nebraska Forensics Institute Pathologist Mr. Thomas L. Bennett points to “asphyxia by drowning, salt water, associated with immersion in seawater, prolonged.”
Thus, concluding that the “probable cause of death” is “asphyxia by salt water drowning,” and that there is no gross evidence of antemortem traumatic injuries. Victoria Zayzay, 21, was found helpless in a police withholding cell along the Banjor road in Virginia, outside Monrovia on October 20, 2015 and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Government run Redemption Hospital. The police account of her death said she committed suicide by hanging in the cell, and that she died while being rush to the local hospital on the Island.
But the autopsy report, which was released to family members on Thursday January 28, shows no bleeding into the scrap muscles and surrounding soft tissues. “The greater horns of the hyoid bone are soft and pliable and no fractures are present.” the autopsy report went on. “The thyroid cartilage is intact and no fracture seen,” the report added.
The Justice Ministry authorized the autopsy performed by two Ghanaian pathologists on November 11, 2015, three weeks following the victim’s death in its effort to establish the actual cause of death.
By Othello B. Garblah