Ganta Police Nabs Prime Suspects in Death of Mother and Daughter

GOMPA, Nimba – The Criminal Services Department for the Liberia National Police unit stationed in Gompa has named two suspects in connection with the recent killing of a 65-year-old woman and her 13-year-old daughter on March 10, 2017, in Peace Community.

Col. James Cartoe, chief inspector of the CSD, named Exodus Wamah and Justice Dolo as the killers of Viola Thompson Richmond, an administrative officer of the National Social Security and Welfare Cooperation’s regional office in Gompa. Wamah and Dolo were also implicated in the death of Richmond’s daughter, Annie Johnson.

Both were found dead on March 14, 2017, after police went to search Richmond’s home following a report from her supervisor that she had been absent from her job.

“Well, as I speak to you, those involved in the murdering of this woman and her daughter have been arrested,” Cartoe told reporters at his office. “We have gathered all other evidence, and we have three persons right now in our custody. Exodus [Wamah], 39, is the key criminal in this case. And we have one Justice Dolo and also Exodus’ proposed wife, [Rita Wuo].”

Cartoe said Wamah, Richmond’s ex-lover, killed the two women because Wamah felt that the US$4,000 Richmond gave him as a wedding gift was insufficient. Cartoe said although Wamah has not formally admitted to the crime, all the evidence needed to convict him have been gathered and they strongly link him to the crime.

“He conspired criminally with others before this crime was committed,” Cartoe added. “Exodus is at the peak of this crime.”

In addition to Richmond’s murder, several valuables were stolen from her home by the suspected murderers and taken to Wuo’s home.

“We are pleased to inform the public that everything that was stolen from the house of this woman has been recovered by the police,” Cartoe said. “The cash has not been recovered; we are still investigating further as to how much she had.”

Cartoe promised that materials retrieved from the criminals would be turned over to the family of the victims in due time. The investigation of the other two suspects believed to be linked to the crime is ongoing.

The police’s work caught the attention of Thomas Q. Suah, the coordinator of the NGO, Mitigating Local Land Dispute in Liberia. He presented L$10,000 (US$95) to the Criminal Services Department as a token of appreciation for their commitment to service.

“We want to applaud the police of Nimba County, and against that background I want to show some appreciation to them in the amount of L$10,000 to the county commander of the CSD for a job well done,” he said “I appreciate you guys, and this money — every officer who played a role — let him drink soft drink from this money.”

Cartoe said the donation is unethical and unprofessional to accept, “but in this forum, I think it is done in good faith. It is done to motivate my men, and it is done to applaud us for a job well done. So, we accept it with our free mind and we want to say thank you to you and your colleagues.”

Cartoe said it was difficult gathering the pieces of information about the murder of Richmond and her daughter due to fear from citizens. He called on citizens this time around to feel free to provide necessary information to the police to aid investigations and promised that their information would be kept with confidentiality.

Featured photo by Arrington Ballah

Arrington Ballah

A resident of Ganta, Nimba County, Arrington has a background working with credit unions and other organizations dedicated to rural finance.

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