Child, 11, Starved to Death

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11-year-old Jerome Brown being bathed by a community dweller upon discovery, just minutes before his death.

In the home of his biological father and stepmother

It was a sad day on February 14, 2021, in the Palm Beach community in Paynesville on the ELWA beach side, when residents discovered an almost lifeless body of 11-year-old Jerome Brown, who was kept in a zinc shack by both his stepmother and biological father without eating or drinking for “three weeks.”

According to community residents, since July last year, they have seen little Jerome with his father Emmanuel Brown and stepmother, only identified as Wanee, in the neighborhood, or in other instances with other children playing, but there came a time that the child suddenly disappeared.  

Expressing dismay, Hawa Joma, a resident of the community, said she saw a lot of community dwellers going toward the Brown family’s zinc shack saying that they saw a terrible living creature coming out of the house but Emmanuel’s wife pushed it back after noticing that people have seen the creature.

According to Hawa, when she saw the crowd, she followed to get details about what had happened and, at the scene, she saw the community leadership and others demanding to see what was in the house.

 After some time of inquiry, they realized that it was a severely malnourished child who had been kept in confinement and had lost weight to the point of bones showing underskin in the home of the child’s own biological father.

According to Hawa, through a neighbor, the community members discovered that the child was in the house in a very dire condition.

“Because the lady was not too sure, she decided to stay back to observe for a while, and that was how she managed to see the object. Not sure if it were human, she used her phone to take a picture, and that’s how she took it to the chairman and other community members and they were able to reach the home to ask the father what was in his house,” Hawa said.

“When we reached the house,” Hawa said, “The community leadership asked what was in the house, but the child’s father said nothing was in the house.”

Little Jerome Brown after taken out out of parents house

Hawa explained that the community leadership later invited the office the Liberia National Police (LNP), who forcefully enter the house and started to search.

“After searching the house, they came across what appeared like a box that had three pieces of zincs and three pieces of ceiling. So they opened it and saw the little child,” she said.

“Fear overtook the entire community after seeing the child, but that man was brave to start bathing the child. When they tried to wash the child’s mouth, he vomited mattress and plastic that he may have eaten due to hunger,” Hawa explained.  

She said, “The last word the boy said was, “I want a drink,” and died right in the hands of the people that were bathing him.”

How Jerome came to his Father

Jerome’s mother, Mama Cole, was with Emmanuel for 10 years and they divorced because of misunderstanding.

Jerome was one of three children Mama bore for Emmanuel. After their relationship broke apart, Mama said she took her children to Grand Bassa where they lived until her former boyfriend requested that the child should go to be with him in Monrovia.  From one point to the other, she finally agreed to send the child to his father. 

She said that since the boy came to the father, she has made it her duty to call often to find out about him, and whenever she calls, the former boyfriend will say the child is at the beach or somewhere, just to provide an excuse.

“In our last talk, Emmanuel told me that the boy was sleeping and I hung up the telephone call but, as I was sitting these few days, a friend called to tell me that my son has turned into a skeleton, something that I least expected,” Mama said.

While trying to establish whether the information was true, she received a phone call from a friend telling her that her son was dead.

Emmanuel is currently in a police withholding cell at the Zone 8 Depot as his documents undergo preparation to forward him to court.

“All I want is justice for my son because a human being cannot treat an innocent child in such a manner, even if he did anything wrong,” Mama said.

She called on the government, human rights and child right advocates to ensure that her son gets justice.    

17 COMMENTS

    • This is the worst kind of human treatment. That someone can do to someone. It broke me to see this evil. In the world how could this happen. To a young innocent child today. What is wrong with ppl. That they could do this and not be bothered. How you could see this happening. Not do anything about it. Ppl saw him and did nothing. Just let it go to think that he could have been saved. Is devastating to even think. The evil in this world is frightening to me.

  1. What a wicked people they are!!! I’m all tears right now… Animals are far more better than human these days. Jesus please accept his soul ….😭😭😭

  2. A prayer for Jerome

    Dear God, forgive little Jerome
    May YOUR Angels received him into YOUR Kingdom with open arms
    May he be fed abundantly with YOUR celestial food

    Jerome, may you watch over other poor and malnourished children facing the same plight in Liberia and anywhere in the world
    May God protect their little bodies and give them strength.

    Jerome, ask your Heavenly Father to put HIS healing hand on those with developmental issues, and allow them to grow strong and healthy despite the hunger that afflicts them.

    Jerome, intercede with the Heavenly Father to create new hearts in Liberians
    May they be filled with compassion and love for other human beings of their kind

    Jerome, please forgive your father and stepmother so that the world can be a better place for all

    Amen!

    • You talk about forgive, Why/ Even God Said our sin will go unto our generation. with this one after few weeks it will be a story and those people will be free But God can not sleep. this man and his woman are just equal to Prince Johnson and Taylor, butt naked and every other warlords during the war time. Doing things to others that they will never like to be done to them.
      Honestly, no sin goes unpunished. God forgives but he remember the oppressed and oppressor’s. these people need to be sentence to life prison or at least 25yrs. this is evil in the current time where we are not at war. even if you dont like or want the child give to some else to take care of him. many looking for kid just to feed and can’t have it.

  3. A Pain, A Grief Warrants An Action.
    Ummmmm! Who in the world can do this. He was actually denied food, not due to poverty in Liberia. As poor as we are in Liberia, even a 1/4 cup of rice a day, could keep him alive. As we go to our various religious houses every week (Mosques, Churches, Temples, etc.), the Almighty God does not look at prayers. He is looking at what in our hearts and how we treat our fellow human beings.
    Rest in Peace Little Jerome, but something bigger is awaiting those that send you to your grave so early and painfully.

    Mamadu S. Bah (N/P) Adelaide, Australia.

  4. This is why we tell people not to separate after borning together. The children suffer more. The mother is at piece, while her died in a nasty style. Separation after borning together is animal-like. This is one of the reasons God hates devoice.

  5. May God really help change the minds of Liberians. We the citizens of this Country really giving our government hard times and also pulling our Country backwards.
    This news is very very bad for this country.
    How much food can an Eleven years Old child eat?
    How much for common garie?
    This so call biological father Emmanuel is a wizard. Even if u want to punish the child is that the best way to proceed?
    Then u sit down there and allow a witchcraftt stepmother to kill ur son.
    I wish I had the power to make both Emmanuel and Wanee starve for the same Damm three weeks bcus this is complete wickedness.
    How could they do that to a child like this mehn?
    Bcus they knew even if they mean him with food once he go out to his friends he will still have food to eat that’s why they wickedly kept him in the house fo whole three weeks.

    To Our Government, we want to urge u people to do the right thing that is all we want. Let Justice prevail!!!!
    WE WANT JUSTICE!!!!
    JUSTICE FOR JEROME!!!

  6. Prayers for the sick and infirmed of Liberia and across our planet. If this small body was the only one who has suffered, I send prayers for his redemption in the heaven above.

  7. We demand Justice ⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️ from #Jerome and that is just the only way the gone souls of Jerome will rest perpetually.
    How can a so call Father and a Mother (I care less to know whether actual or stepmother) would be so wicked. This is a contradiction of the primary principle of the Liberian Children Law of 2011. There is no part of the law that says Children should undergo Starvation as a punishment. If the Laws is to protect children, the parent must pay for this.
    We are glad that Jerome case is at the spotlight.

    We need Justice for Jerome.

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