Days after eight persons got killed reportedly by carbon monoxide poisoning in Paynesville, at least two more deaths have been recorded here so far, one involving victim Florence Massaquoi and the other, an unidentified man mobbed by a crowd in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
A huge crowd gathered in shock around the corpse of the late Florence in the S.K.D. Boulevard, 772nd Community of Payneville on Monday morning, 1 March. The body of the lady could be seen on the sidewalk, covered under a banana leaf.
A man identifying himself to journalists as Siaffah Kanneh from New Matadi, Sinkor, says the late Florence is his son’s mother, narrating that he was the one who had rented a place she was dwelling. According to him, the deceased lived in the Rock Hill Community.
“Papay I in trouble ooo, my son ma, my son mother left the house Saturday evening, she went out, only to come see her body lying down,” Mr. Kanneh was heard saying as he placed his phone to his ear, apparently having conversation with someone via mobile.
Kanneh narrates to live media broadcast from the scene where the corpse was found, that Florence was still his woman, but they were not living together.“We [have] been together, we were loving and she was stopping [at a] different place, and I was stopping [at a] different place,” he says.
Kanneh narrates that he and Florence have been together for nine years, but the main reason he found place for her was to enable them to live apart from each other based on religious differences, saying he is a Muslim while she was a Christian.“So I told her the way we’re living it’s not good. So let us live separately for now until we decide if you will come join my religion,” he explains.
He says normally every Sunday, Florence would go to his place in Matadi, sleep there and go back later. “And Saturday, she and I talked, and she [was] supposed to come to me. Normally every Sunday she can come to my place in Matadi, spend the whole day, sleep and go back,” he says.
But according to him, on Saturday, Florence told him that she was going to help her friend to prepare some program food.
“So the whole of Saturday she was there. Later on, in the afternoon [around] four, five, she said she was rushing Redlight to buy her food for Sunday, so we talked,” he says.
According to Kanneh, after he closed his business place and went home, Florence called him by about 8 pm on Saturday evening, informing him that her phone had just six percent current, so she was sending it on charge.After that, he says Florence did not call him again because the place she intended charging her phone was closed.
“So according to her son now, when she dropped the line with me, another person called her. So she told the son I’m coming,” Kanneh narrates. He details that Florence left instruction with her son to carry the food items to her friend’s place for preparation if he did not see her.
“That’s how she left, according to him. I never heard from her again since yesterday,” Mr. Kanneh adds.
He says he had no idea if she had any conflict with anyone, adding that “she [doesn’t] drink [alcohol], she [doesn’t] club.”
Later on Monday afternoon, the Spokesman of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Moses Carter told journalists that the unconscious body of a 46 year – old woman identified as Florence Massaquoi was found in the S.K.D. Boulevard Community, 772nd, in Paynesville.
“This morning, we were alerted of a sad, or you may say, a tragic incident where one of our citizens was found lying unconscious in the … [S.K.D.] Boulevard, 77and Community. Specifically, this citizen was a resident of the Rock Hill, GSA Community,” Mr. Carter says.
According to Carter, police investigators were alerted about the situation by community residents following which the police’s forensic and homicide teams moved in.
“We managed to make contact with the family of the Liberian female; and agreement was made. Madam Massaquoi, peace be to her ashes, was pronounced dead by nurses at our police clinic at … our Police Academy, in the same 772nd Community,” he explains.
The police spokesman mentions that through a unanimous agreement between the police and the family, the remains of victim Massaquoi was taken to Mauren Capehart Funeral home in Caldwell where “forensic examination is being conducted to establish whether there was foul play or not.”
“Family members are witnessing the examination, and if there is any foul play they will be alerted, the public will be informed and investigation will be conducted in making sure that those connected, any way any how, to the death of this citizen of our country will be made to face the full weight of the law,” Carter says.
The police are appealing to the public to provide any useful information that will lead police to ensure that this matter reaches its logical conclusion where perpetrators will be made to face the full weight of the law.
In another development, Carter discloses that police have neutralized a tension that erupted in the Zayzay Community of Paynesville following the killing of a man by a mob.
“Our attention has been drawn to the death of another citizen who was allegedly beaten to death by [an] angry crowd within the Zazay Community, Paynesville, on February 27, 2021 at about 2300hrs. The victim is yet to be identified,” he says. According to Carter, police are working to ensure that those responsible are made to face the full weight of the law.
Last week, a gathering of families, friends and well wishers following their relative Nancy Miller’s graduation on Wednesday, 24 February from the University of Liberia (UL), had a tragic end when the graduate and seven others were reportedly killed by suffocation resulting from carbon monoxide which is toxic to humans. The eight victims were discovered Thursday morning, 25 February.
By Winston W. Parley