CESTOS, River Cess – A 25-year-old River Cess man is being held behind bars after police say he endangered a child’s welfare.
Prince Jacob, a photographer living in Cestos, was arrested on Saturday, December 15 in Buchanan at the Monrovia Parking by the Women and Children’s Protection Unit of the Liberia National Police while trying to escape with his eight-month-old daughter.
Police say Jacob had kidnapped the child from his 17-year-old girlfriend, Comfort Fancial, the child’s mother. Fancial said Jacob had taken the child away when she had gone to fetch water from the community pump.
“When I came back from the pump, I did not see my daughter,” she said. “So I ran to my aunty and informed her and that’s how we came to the police.”
However, Fancial said officers were not handling her case with urgency, which prompted her to further report the case to the Cestos Magisterial Court. Judge Benjunes D. Wheagbah then informed authorities at the various checkpoints along the Grand Bassa-River Cess highway to be on the watch. But Jacob had already crossed and was in Buchanan trying to board a vehicle for Monrovia.
According to Wheagbah, authorities tracked Jacob’s precise location by calling him and pretending to be a customer at his photography shop. Wheagbah said Jacob answered the phone and disclosed that he was in Buchanan trying to get a vehicle to Monrovia, where he later planned to head for Nimba.
Officers rushed to the parking and arrested Jacob, who had possession of the child. He stayed in a holding cell in Buchanan and was later transferred to River Cess. Jacob has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and interference with custody. He is expected to appear in court on January 3, 2019. The child was turned over to the mother after spending one night in the custody of the police’s Women and Children Unit in Grand Bassa.
Featured photo by Eric Doue