February 21, 2024

GoL releases Autopsy report of mysterious deaths; As Pres. Weah Orders Second Autopsy 

The Ministry of Justice has released report of autopsy conducted by pathologists Dr. Benedict B. Kolee and Dr. Zoebon B. Kparteh which confirmed the late Princess Cooper who lifeless body was discovered at the Fawaz Building Material Store compound, died of tuberculosis thereby stating her death was natural 

Releasing the autopsy report April 18, 2022, at a special press briefing at the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs & Tourism, Dr. Benedict B. Kolee noted that in their professional and expert opinion and the comprehensive autopsy they have conducted on the body of the late Ms. Cooper, it is clear that she died as the result of natural death caused by tuberculosis.

“Scientific cause of death, remomhagic shock, massive heemomhange  raptured Rasmussen aneurysm and erosion of bronchial vessels. The scientific cause of death also name, progressive secondary pulmonary tuberculosis. In our professional and expert opinion, the manner of death of Princess Cooper is natural death. Her body had nostrils, oral cavity with clotted blood and sunken eyes.”

Making a power point presentation of the autopsy report and findings to the audience, Dr. Kolee said that their autopsy report is out and available to the public and anyone that will doubt their findings, they have all of the information and the remains of Princess and Melvin are available for further examining, saying that no autopsy conducted by any pathologist will go contrary to their finding.

The press conference brought together members and officials of government including, Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue, Health Minister Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, Deputy Minister of Justice for Codification  Cllr. Nyanti Twan and Information Minister Lenghood Rennie, District 16 Representative Dixon Seboe  amongst others.

Also In attendance includes civil society organizations, women grouping activist and family members of the late Melvin Togbah. It was observed that family members of the late Princess Cooper were absence from the press conference.

On March 24, 2022, Ms. Cooper unresponsive body was found outside at about 1320hr lying on the floor in a pool of blood in the fence of a building hosting the Fawaz Building Materials Store.

The building is located at the ELWA Junction, Paynesville, on the right of the road toward SKD sport complex about one block away from the ELWA junction. Mis. Princess Cooper was rushed to the emergency Room of the John F. Kennedy memorial center where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

The late 25-years- old Ms. Cooper had a long dreadlocks on her head, length of 167 cm and an estimated weight of 68kg. Mis. Cooper was said to have been engaged into markup artist and catering prior to her death and was widely known for that.

Dr. Kolee disclosed that three days prior to the death of Ms. Cooper, she was presented to the New Community Clinic in St. Paul Bridge complaining of fever, non-productive cough and chest pain, adding that physical examination showed crepitation and wheezing over the lung and laboratory work up shows elevated white blood cell count.

Pathologist Kolee further that the autopsy finding disclosed that Ms. Cooper stomach was markedly distended and contained blood of (2 L, 410g) while the mucosa and walls of the stomach have no gross lesion and the small intestine, appendix, caecum, colon, and anus have no lesion.   

Meanwhile, the Government trained pathologist also said the scientific cause of death of the late Melvin Togbah established that he died of severe head injuries, severe intoxication with cannabis, bilateral hemothorax amongst others, thereby making his death un-natural.

The Liberian National Police received a call from a resident of Jallah Town Community March 24, 2022, about 1700 hr informing them that there was unresponsive body of Melvin Togbah lying in his room with multiples wounds.

The wife of the deceased Mrs. Joyce Togbah said when she left the house earlier, she left her husband in an apparent state of good health in the morning hours of the same day when she went to work.

But the autopsy report disclosed that there were no signed of medical treatment because there is skin slippage around the gluteal region 23 cm across, lateral wall of left thigh 13-12cm and occipital region 3 cm across and several others which indicated that he died un-natural death.

Receiving the report from Dr. Kolee, Deputy Minister of Justice Cllr. Nyanti Twan expressed thanked and excitement over the comprehensive report of Mis. Cooper and Togbah which was released by the government trained pathogist, adding that it’s now time that Liberian respect their own.

“We are happy for this report and what is done here has demonstrated that we have well trained patohgist in this country that we can depend on. I am impress by what I see here today. We will make sure that justice is serve and those that need to be prosecuted will be done after investigation.”

At the same time, the President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah has directed Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean to avail the remains of the late Princess Cooper for the conduct of a second autopsy.

The decision, he said, is to lend support to the bereaved family, in their quest to bring closure to the circumstances surrounding the death of their loved one along with concerns raised by some citizens with the initial autopsy.

President Weah said the government will fund the conduct of the second autopsy and called on the family to designate a pathologist of their choice, possessing the requisite credentials and qualifications.

In the directive, President Weah urged Minister Dean to ensure that all civil society, political and other interest groups and individuals who have been involved with advocacy in the case to cooperate with the family and send the name of a designated qualified pathologist to the government in the soonest possible time for the conduct of the second autopsy.

The Liberian Chief Executive reiterated his condolences to the bereaved family, saying the death of any Liberian, whether by natural or unnatural causes, is concerning to the government.

The President has however called on the public to respect Liberian professionals. He reminded them that the pathologists who carried out the initial autopsy were trained to international standards by the Government of Liberia with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

By: Stephen G. Fellajuah

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