Johnson Street, Soniwein Community in central Monrovia recuperates from shocks over the discovery of the lifeless body of a minor, identified as Linda Sherman, in her mother’s room with rope around her neck, which seems to indicate she might have taken her own life inside a six-bedroom house on Wednesday, 04 December.The jam-packed scene was filled with family members, community dwellers, by-passers and officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) with many soaked in tears, as they stood in smaller groups, sharing their own account of the story.
Information gathered from some family members indicates the late Linda Sherman, popularly known in her community as Zato, was student of the St. Theresa’s Convent Catholic School in Monrovia. She had just celebrated her ninth birthday on November 29, which coincided with the birth of Liberia’s 18th President, William V.S. Tubman, officially observed here as a National Holiday Day.
The senior sister of the deceased only identified as Blessing, narrates that upon her late sister’s return from school Wednesday, while at their mother’s shop, she instructed her (Linda) to go home to take off her uniform and then return to the shop to help do some laundry.
“After sometimes I couldn’t see Zota; I went to the house to check on her. When I got at the house, I try pushing the door, but it didn’t open; it was like someone pushing it back at me. So I called her to move from behind the door; I pushed it hard just to see Zota hanging behind the door with rope around her neck,” Blessing explains in tears.
Continuing with the narration, she says upon her arrival at the house, she met the back and front windows of the house opened, and immediately alerted one of the tenants about her little sister’s condition in their mother’sbedroom before alarming the public.
A twenty-nine year old male tenant Obediah Patterson, who was allegedly the only older person in the house prior to the incident, claims after the late Zota returned from school, she entered his room, greeted him before going to her mother’s bedroom after which he locked his door.
Eyewitness Obediahcontinues that while he was in his room, he learnt that little Zota had left the house for the shop but disclosed: “It was not too long when the other little girl called Blessing knocked my door and said Uncle Obediah, come see what happened; when I got to their mother’s room, the child was already lifeless on the rope before myself I started shouting for people to come around”.A second eyewitness, Morris Konneh, age 17, said to have been with Obediah in the house at the time, narrates that the deceased met him washing outside in the yard and spoke before proceeding into her mother’s room.
Morris details that little Zota came out dressed in underwear and black skintight and headed for the road, but she allegedly came back to the house and went into her mother’s room, while he was still outside washing only to hear Obediah and Blessing (the senior sister) shouting in the house, calling for help.Meanwhile, the Police have picked up Blessing for questioning in connection with the death of her little sister, Linda Sherman.
The incident resembles similar scenario of the death of Little Angel Tokpa, a minor, in 2018, also a student of the St. Theresa’s Catholic High School, who was found dead, hanging on a rope in her guardians’ (Mrs and Mr. Hans Williams) residence in a Monrovia suburb of Old Road community, after she had been sexually abused. The couple were tried, convicted of murder and sentenced at the Monrovia Central Prison where they served for some time, but the ruling was subsequently overturned and they were set free. By Ben P. Wesee-Editing by Jonathan Browne