Gov’t Releases Odell Sherma’s Body to Family for Interment

The late student Odell Sherman

The Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Liberia National Police (LNP), in a communication dated August 15, 2019, have released the body of Odell Sherman to her family for interment (burial).

The body of Odell, a senior high school student of the Harriett Bailey United Methodist School, was discovered at the home of Reverend Emmanuel Giddings in Duazohn, Margibi County during the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 22, 2019, after the completion of her West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Mrs. Cynthia Rivercess Sherman, Mother of the deceased, told Daily Observer in a telephone interview that the body release letter is the first communication the family has received from the Government of Liberia since Odell’s lifeless body was discovered at the home of Rev. Giddings.

She said though the family has not acknowledged receipt of the government’s letter, they are going to a family meeting to decide what their next steps would be.

According to Mrs. Sherman, the way the government is handling her daughter’s death case only tells her that the justice system ignores the poor and further indicates that people with money do evil and walk away with impunity.

The government’s decision to turn Odell’s body over to family members for interment has left many questions unanswered, some of which, only the DNA samples collected by the American pathologist, Dr. Roger Mitchell, Jr., would be able to explain. However Dr. Mitchell, upon examining Odell’s body parts, extracted some DNA samples and turned them over to the Government of Liberia through its chief investigator, saying that the Government must source the DNA test on its own.

A letter addressed to Mrs. Sherman, signed by LNP Inspector General Patrick T. Sudue, reads:

“Dear, Mrs. Sherman,

We present our complement and deepest sympathy and condolences on behalf of the Administration of the Liberia National Police (LNP) for the demise of your daughter, Ms. Odell Sherman, who passed on May 21, 2019.

Predicated on the postmortem examination that was conducted on the remains of your deceased daughter by your family pathologist on August 13, 2019, Liberia National Police wishes to inform you that you can take delivery of daughter’s body from the St. Moses Funeral Parlor for interment while we await the result from the analysis of the autopsy.

Once again, we extend our condolences for the loss sustained.”

It may be recalled Dr. Roger A. Mitchell Jr., the Chief Medical Examiner for the City of Washington, DC, on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, conducted an autopsy on the remains of the late Odell Sherman at the St. Moses Funeral Parlor along the Somalia Drive, in Monrovia.

Dr. Mitchell following the close of the exercise disclosed that he is going to examine the specimens taken from Odell’s body and the autopsy results would be made known to both the family members and government early this week, but the government has informed the family to carry on interment why they await the result.

The autopsy showed deep fractures on the skull, something that is believed to be the major cause of death but the pathologist, Dr. Roger A. Mitchell Jr., told the family that he could not give a full account of what happened to her until the body parts are carefully examined and findings are arranged before giving family and government his report.

He said because of the deteriorated condition of the body, the autopsy could not establish whether Odell was sexually assaulted or not. However, Dr. Mitchell recommended that swipes are taken of vaginal tissue for analysis and possible extraction of DNA could be examined to determine if she was indeed sexually assaulted.


  1. This young lady’s body was intact when transferred from the ELWA hospital to the St. Moses funeral home for safekeeping. And now the body is decomposed? If, according to this report the chartered pathologist was unable to perform the necessary autopsy on account of the deteriorating condition of the remains, then the LNP should be accountable for the reckless and negligent manner it handled this case. Instead of depositing the body at JFK, where all such cases supposed to be handled, a government hospital with the capacity to preserve bodies perhaps better than St. Moses’ funeral home, yet the LNP as if not aware of the legal and technical implications of autopsies decided to take this body to a private funeral home instead? And the findings of the pathologist have not been made known to the family yet, and they are told to go ahead with funeral arrangements? Under what closure to this family? How stupid, incompetent and insensitive could the authorities responsible for this case be? The sad thing is, when the heads of these government bureaucracies are appointed, people wish they would do something better, far better than their predecessors. Only to regret no sooner than later, that perhaps the previous rascals might have even been better than the current cast of rogues. It seems God really swear Liberia, in that regard.

    • Mr. Peter Gboyo, I strongly agree with your assertion of the situation, the autopsy report isn’t yet out for the family to know the cause of death but the police IG is now writing to the family to take the remain of their daughter for burial. From the onset of this case, the government didn’t show any interest in bringing the perpetrator to book. This is can be seen at each stage of their investigation that they are doing everything humanly possible to hide the perpetrator all because of money. If I were a family member of the decease, I wouldn’t bother going forward, we will just lay our beloved daughter to rest and leave the battle into the hands of God. God is the Judge of the poor, he will never allow the wicked to go unpunished. The person who did this wicked act to Odell and those covering up the crime will account before God unless they don’t have children that is the only way God wouldn’t fight Odell Sherman battle.

  2. This emmual Giddings man who killed Odell is part of all the secret society in Liberia. Government is doing all they can to hide him. How can Odell fall from Giddings home in his own house from upster about round 4am in the morning? According to the investigation. Only Giddings and 2others man where there. Why are they not being held in police custody? How can a 21years old girl jumb and according to the X-ray…nothing happen to her skull. Which of course the family have. But at the arrivel of the patologist now her her skull is damage? What happen to her cell phone too? Rev Giddings turned her phone over to the police without battery, and sim card. The family have request for the called dialled log, and police refused to write lonestar for the call log. And the company refused to give it to the family. But they will all die her death . Giddings and his children will never live to tell the story. God will end their lives and they did to Odell.

  3. Princess Smith,
    You wrote:
    “How can a 21years old girl jumb and according to the X-ray…nothing happen to her skull. Which of course the family have. But at the arrivel of the patologis”

    I thought it was said above also:
    “The autopsy showed deep fractures on the skull, something that is believed to be the major cause of death”

    The autopsy will show exactly who did it. The family should get a copy of the X-Ray, etc.

    • No, Mr. “Sr. Engineer,” autopsy reports don’t tell who committed the crimes being investigated. They only say or tell the probable cause of death and the rest is left with law enforcement to determine who may have done it. The danger in cases like this for the entire society is that soon, the indifference shown here by the authorities will become the norm, applicable to any others moving forward. So we rather stand up to it now, or we all become victims one by one.

      • The autopsy report has not been completed yet, from what is stated above.
        The DNA report has to be added. The Dr will also determine if she fell to death or someone hit her to death.
        These exact things have happened to people around the world; they have lots of experience.
        The DNA will point to the individual if she was sexually attached. The men will give their DNA for testing.
        Additionally, it may go Jury.

        The family should be patient.
        God bless.

        • Correction: Additionally it may go to a Jury.

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